Juggling Act: Motherhood In Racing Under The Spotlight
Horse & Hound|November 26, 2020
A report found challenges faced by working mothers as well as “pockets of good practice” and has come up with a list of recommendations
Lucy Elder

Outdated attitudes and structural barriers have created a “drain on talent and resources”, a report into the challenges faced by working mothers in the racing industry has found.

The study, by Women in Racing (WIR), Oxford Brookes University, and Simply Racing looked to explore the practicalities of being a working mother across the industry, including working practices, maternity leave, managing perceptions, and work-life balance.

“It is generally recognized that women form an increasing proportion of the horseracing workforce, though this shift has not been widely acknowledged or catered for,” states the executive summary, adding that perceptions and support vary by employment setting and skill level.

“Both attitudinal and structural barriers have been causing many women either to leave the industry prematurely or to decide not to join in the first place. This creates a drain on talent and resources with cost implications, often for employers operating on tight margins.”

Set gallop times and unavoidable hours travelling on race days were among the structural barriers highlighted.

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