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20 December 2021

‘Racing Home’ project awarded key funding

Women in Racing are delighted to announce that they have been awarded £140,000 by the Racing Foundation and Kindred Group to implement the next stage of the ‘Racing Home’ project.

Women in Racing are announcing today that they have received support from both the Racing Foundation and Kindred Group for the ‘Racing Home’ project. The extension of funding will enable Women in Racing to work with the stakeholders at implementing a whole raft of measures to ensure that Horseracing can become a cultural leader in the sports world at supporting its participants in planning and raising a family. This measure is vital both for wellbeing and for the overall sustainability of the industry.

Women in Racing Chair, Tallulah Lewis said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded funding from the Racing Foundation and Kindred Group who have support the ‘Racing Home’ project since its inception. We are very grateful for the continued recognition by these two organisations and their support in us delivering a more sustainable and welcoming racing industry for working mothers and parents. We are ready to get stuck in and work with the industry stakeholders to deliver these actions and look forward to sharing the results with you.”

About Racing Home

The ’Racing Home’ project began with a symposium in November 2019 and was followed up by a series of successful workshops and webinars leading to a research-based project led by Dr. Kate Clayton-Hathway of the Centre for Diversity Policy Research and Practice, Oxford Brookes University. The discussions with participants from all aspects of horseracing were used as a basis to collate data around the experiences of motherhood and parenting and expanded to include the views of a wide range of stakeholders. Participants were asked to suggest any solutions they felt would contribute to mitigating both practical barriers for working mothers as well as less tangible ones within our sport. These findings were collated and developed into a series of recommended ‘next steps’ for the industry in discussion with key stakeholders. The findings formed the report ‘Racing Home, Working Mothers in the Horseracing Industry’ which was published late last year.

Next steps

This vital funding will enable Women in Racing, supported by Simply Racing, to implement the practical and educational recommendations from the report. This includes essential work developing and digitising a transparent ‘Racing Home’ portal (website) allowing online industry access to racing-specific and general material around motherhood. This Portal will be a place whereby employers and employees and the self-employed can turn for questions/answers about anything motherhood/parenthood related.

Educational ‘coffee mornings/community days’ and events at racecourses are also planned with the objective of encouraging open talk about pregnancy, maternity and family life whilst providing a network structure for parents. Pregnant mothers will be supported in their journey back onto a horse. Racing’s new intake and younger generations of all genders will also be instructed in new ways of thinking about parenthood that will help shift mindsets creating a more open and modern working environment for all.

The project also seeks to ensure that people have an understanding of their rights and are embraced inclusively by racing’s employers who will see the benefit of investing in the working practices and quality of life of working parents. By highlighting good working practices around motherhood and leading the way in this area, Women in Racing will help make racing more accessible and thereby demonstrate that we want people from outside our sport to join the racing family.

Rob Hezel, Racing Foundation Chief Executive said: “Racing is enormously reliant on its people as well as its horses and retaining dedicated staff is vital for long-term prosperity. The Racing Home project has the potential to revolutionise how parents and mothers are supported to stay in the industry and can enable racing to become a leader in this field across the sporting landscape.”

Ed Nicholson, Head of Kindred Racing Communications and Sponsorship said: “We are delighted to be able to support the important work Women in Racing are doing to benefit women in the horseracing industry. At Kindred, we strongly believe that a diverse workforce enhance our performance, and we focus on improving our diversity across the group. We know that Women in Racing are instrumental to raising the awareness of diversity in the racing industry and we are pleased to be able to support the delivery of concrete actions to enhance the wellbeing of the industry.”

Dr Kate Clayton-Hathway, Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University said: “Family life and caring are at the heart of employee well-being, and the research report recommendations we are helping to implement will share good practice that benefits and supports both employees and employers. We are excited to be joining Women in Racing, Simply Racing and the horseracing industry on this next stage in their journey.”

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