Results of a recent study conducted in Great Britain indicate that women are greatly underrepresented in prominent areas of the horse racing industry.
The study, which was the first to look into gender diversity in the industry, was commissioned by the group Women in Racing (which seeks to develop the profile of women in the sport). It was researched by Oxford Brookes University, and funded by the Racing Foundation charity. BBC Sport reported the results of the study Wednesday.
According to BBC Sport, close to 400 people took part in the study; nearly 80 percent of which were female. The results show that more women start working in racing after having completed college.
Other key findings from the study include –
* Women from across the industry report being patronized, “not being taken seriously or being denied opportunities because of their gender”
* Some reported an “old boys' network” with practices which excluded women
* A number of women were made to feel “unwelcome” when they tried applying for more senior roles, whether it be with racing stables or farms, or corporate positions
Susannah Gill, a director at Arena Racing Company which owns 15 British racecourses, is also a committee member of Women in Racing. In an interview with BBC Sport, Gill said, “I think sometimes racing is seen as a conservative sport and people haven't openly shared their views.”
“If you look who is on the senior boards of organizations in racing, the average is 16 percent women and we have several boards which don't have any women at the top level at all.”
Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said of the study, “This survey serves as a stark reminder that while some progress has been made, there is much more that British racing needs to do to ensure that people receive the necessary encouragement, support and opportunities regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, disability or social background.”
Read more at BBC Sport
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