BHA committed to diversity

Leading jockey Josephine Gordon

Results from a first report into gender diversity in racing served as a "stark reminder" that more needs to be done within the sport, the British Horseracing Authority said in a statement.

The report, which was commissioned by Women in Racing, found that progress is being made as greater numbers of women enter the industry.

However, the report found that women still remain under-represented.

Nearly 400 people, 80 per cent of whom were women, participated in the study, which detailed a "career stagnation" once a woman tries to progress in the industry.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust said: "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.

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"Today, we're restating our commitment to improve diversity in our sport.

"As the survey report highlights, to be successful, this requires a cross-industry effort, so we will now consult with racecourses and horsemen on additional actions we need to take, including the recommendations contained in this report."

Other findings from the report include complaints of discriminative, prejudice and bullying behaviour, barriers and lack of representation at senior and board level and negative experiences of work-life balance.

Researched by Oxford Brookes University and funded by the Racing Foundation charity, the report also recommended the establishment of an independent diversity steering group within racing.

Women in Racing founder and honorary president Sally Rowley-Williams said: "As the sport's governing body, the BHA is best placed to lead on progressing the diversity agenda but it is for all in the sport to play their part."

Along with gender, age was raised as a common factor for experiencing less favourable treatment – especially when people apply for promotion.

Many people also expressed concern that the industry is not ethnically diverse.

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