Monday 25th of May 2020

Study to understand diversity in Horseracing

Oxford Brookes University launch pioneering study to understand Diversity in British Horseracing


Today Oxford Brookes University, in partnership with Women in Racing, is launching the first ever study to help understand the role of diversity in British horseracing. It includes a survey that everyone involved in the sport is encouraged to take part in and contribute to the research.

The Oxford Brookes University’s ‘Women’s Representation & Diversity in the Horseracing Industry’ Survey can be found and completed on the Women in Racing website: uk/OxfordBrookesSurvey.

The survey will be live from 4th July until midnight on 15th August. It is anonymous, and aimed at people working at all levels and roles within horseracing to obtain a wide range of information and data on their experiences. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. 

The study will start to align horseracing with other sports, particularly those funded via Sport England, and in the corporate world where similar research has previously and successfully been executed.  Previous research in other sectors has demonstrated the benefits generated by diversity in groups versus homogeneity in groups. 

The research is being undertaken by a team from the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice at Oxford Brookes University. The team are led by the Director of the Centre and Professor of Equality and Diversity Management, Professor Simonetta Manfredi, co-author of the award winning book on Managing Equality and Diversity published by Oxford University Press (2013).

The research is being match-funded by The Racing Foundation and Women in Racing.

As well as the survey being launched this week the project will include interviews with leading individuals in the sport in the autumn with the findings being published in early 2017.

Simonetta Manfredi, Professor of Equality and Diversity Management, said:

“I am really pleased to be possibly the first academic to be investigating diversity issues within the horseracing in Great Britain. I hope that the findings will be informative and produce evidence-based recommendations to increase diversity and develop good practice in this important sector”

Julie Deadman, Chair of Women in Racing said: 

“I would urge everyone in British horseracing to share their thoughts so we can all have a better understanding of the barriers and opportunities across the wide range of careers within the sport.  It will help provide a framework for the future development of the pipelines of talent, from the stable yards right through to the boardrooms that regulate and monitor British horseracing. On behalf of Oxford Brookes and Women in Racing we are very grateful to The Racing Foundation for their support”.

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation said: 

“Understanding diversity within the racing industry is essential.  If we are to attract, recruit and retain high quality staff then we must ensure we support a diverse workforce. This research will help us understand the current situation and has the potential to inform future policy decisions to ensure racing embraces and benefits from diversity in the future.

To find our more visit and the survey can be viewed at: uk/OxfordBrookesSurvey.

If anyone has any questions about the research they should email

#intherace – advancing women in horseracing.  


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