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British Horseracing Authority introduces Action Plan to grow diversity and inclusion

The first ever Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for British racing has been published today by the sport’s Diversity in Racing Steering Group (DiRSG). The Action Plan covers eight core areas which it believes can – and should – be addressed to promote greater inclusion in British racing. The report contains a series of recommendations across these eight areas which it is hoped will lead to short and long-term benefits to help British racing better reflect the diversity of wider society in terms of the sport’s governance, participants, racegoers and fans.
 
Central to the recommendations is a focus on reaching new, culturally and ethnically diverse audiences through the sport’s marketing and promotion, and ensuring the next generation of racing fans have the opportunity to interact with horses, in particular in urban environments.
 
In order to assist the industry-wide engagement and coordination required for the delivery of the Plan, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced that it will be recruiting for a new “Head of Diversity and Inclusion” role. This role will be responsible for working with the DiRSG and the sport’s stakeholders to ensure that the momentum behind this report is maintained and the recommendations are implemented. The aim is to have someone in post during the latter half of 2018.
 
 
Among the headline recommendations from the report are:
 
• Researching the appeal of horseracing within minority communities to understand how the sport can be more effective about attracting diverse audiences. To include working with Great British Racing (GBR) and the (Racecourse Association) RCA to review racecourse marketing and community activity aimed at minority communities, refreshing the sport’s promotional imagery and continuing the work already started by the RCA to ensure that racecourse facilities are accessible to everyone.
 
• Investigating how to reach the next generation of racing fans, in particular those in urban environments. This could include investigating ways to ensure young people in urban locations have a chance to learn about the sport and develop understanding of the horse, which builds on the excellent work already being done by organisations such as the Pony Racing Authority, Racing to School, Ebony Horse Club, Take the Reins and Changing Lives.
 
• Supporting and promoting opportunities for female jockeys. This includes continuing support for academic analysis around female jockey performance – alongside monitoring the impact of initiatives taken in other jurisdictions – with a view to assessing whether further action needs to be taken to ensure female riders are given fair and equal opportunities compared to male counterparts. In addition, working with the Racecourse Association (RCA) and Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) to audit current racecourse facilities for female jockeys, and working alongside the PJA to enhance the mentoring and training available to female riders, in particular around media training.
 
• Launching a diversity event for stakeholders within the sport in early 2019. To be hosted by the DiRSG and BHA, the event will be used to discuss diversity training, the role of organisations in the sport to set an example throughout their leadership and teams, and how to collect, analyse and understand data relevant to diversity and inclusion.
 
• Collect and publish data on leading organisations in the sport. This will include the composition of boards and executive teams and information on key metrics such as the gender pay gap. The BHA will also lead on improving data collection so there is a better understanding of the racing landscape across key metrics including the composition of major organisations and racing’s workforce as a whole. This will help move the sport towards an ambition of a minimum 70:30 gender split for Boards by 2021, to achieve parity with other sports.
 
The eight core areas as identified by the report, and across which recommendations have been made by the DiRSG are:
 
1. Leadership
2. Understanding the British racing landscape
3. Role models, leaders and careers
4. Recognising and celebrating British racing’s workforce
5. Supporting and promoting opportunities for female jockeys
6. Promoting racehorse ownership
7. Attending, consuming and enjoying racing
8. Showcasing the horse and understanding the sport
 
The priorities and proposals set out in the plan support work that is already underway as well as highlighting areas where new initiatives may be needed.
 
Source: British Horseracing Authority

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