The Grand Women’s Summit returns in 2023

The Grand Women’s Summit returns once again to Aintree Racecourse in 2023, taking place on Ladies Day (Friday 14th April) at the Randox Grand National Festival.

First staged in 2015 and in now in its eighth year, the Grand Women’s Summit returned as an in-person event in 2022 having been held virtually in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme for this year’s event, which for a second time is generously supported by leading multinational law firm Pinsent Masons, will be menstrual health in sport, parenthood and the menopause.

Former England field hockey player Sam Quek MBE, who was part of the Gold medal-winning team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and is a current team captain on the BBC’s Question of Sport, will be the host.

The panel in 2023 will include World Champion boxer and Aintree Ambassador Natasha Jonas. Liverpool-born Jonas currently holds three championship belts – the IBF, WBC and WBO female light-middleweight titles.

Jonas said: “It was a terrific experience to be on the panel for the Grand Women’s Summit in 2022 and I am delighted to be returning this year.

“This year’s theme is something that is rarely talked about publicly but obviously of massive importance to women. I am sure the Grand Women’s Summit in 2023 will go some way to helping women involved in all sports and help to break down barriers.”

Also on the panel will be ITV Racing presenter Alice Plunkett and Liverpool-born mixed martial artist “Meatball” Mollie McCann.

Samantha Livesey, Partner, Head of Commercial at Pinsent Masons, which is supporting the event, said: “The Grand Women’s Summit has established itself as an important annual event, highlighting and providing insight into key issues across sport.

“Its values, focusing on women within sport, are very much in line with our own, particularly in promoting gender equality, diversity and inclusion. As a global business with a market leading sports sector advisory team, the international focus on this event and the opportunity it creates to give a voice to women within sport is something we are delighted to support.”

The Grand Women’s Summit will also see the second presentation of the Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award.

Launched by Aintree Racecourse in partnership with BBC Radio Merseyside at the 2021 Randox Grand National Festival, the accolade is in memory of Aintree’s late Chair Rose Paterson, who sadly passed away in 2020.

It combines two of Rose’s passions, the community and the Grand Women’s Summit, and its aim is to recognise on an annual basis a girl or woman from Merseyside who is making a difference to grassroots community sport, either through participation or support.

The Pinsent Masons Grand Women’s Summit will take place in O’ Sullevan’s Owners and Trainers facility, and will finish with a course walk of the world-famous Randox Grand National course.

Open to the public, tickets for the Pinsent Masons Grand Women’s Summit can be purchased by visiting https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/the-grand-national/grand-womens-summit/. WiR members – please check your emails for your discount code, or email lucy.gurney@womeninracing.co.uk for the code.

Racing Home needs you!

Racing Home video launched

Complete the work-life balance and caring survey…

This survey will identify priorities for the industry and should take 10 minutes maximum to complete. Please complete this survey regardless of your parental or caring responsibilities – all information is important to shape the future of Racing Home.

Horseracing is a diverse sport attracting individuals from different backgrounds, skillsets and talents. It is important for us to collect information on the needs of the workforce to understand how they can best be supported.
In particular, we are interested in what can be done to help with work-life balance and family life, not least as many roles in the industry involve long hours, travel and/or hard physical work.

Findings will be presented anonymously and published in a report that will be made available via www.racinghome.org.uk.

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

Women in Racing launch Racing Home programme to support racing’s working parents

On Wednesday 6 July Women in Racing hosted the Racing Home Launch event with Simply Racing to showcase the research and subsequent programme of work supporting racing’s employees and employers around parenthood. A panel, hosted by Dena Merson, Simply Racing’s Founder, featured Kindred Group’s Ed Nicholson, Gemma Ospedale from RWK Goodman, Dominique Tortice from NARS and Broadcaster Aly Vance.

The panel discussed personal experiences, the research findings, racing’s first motherhood/parenthood portal racinghome.org.uk, data collection, the return to riding programme and ongoing work to educate and empower all stakeholders.

In late 2021, key funding from the Racing Foundation and Kindred Group enabled Women in Racing to continue to work with stakeholders to implement a 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.

Watch the highlights video here


Balancing parenting with working in horseracing: know your rights & entitlements, and where to seek help & support

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.


Don’t miss the Podcast

Search “Racing Home” on all major platforms

Hosted and produced by BHA Vet and Podcaster Naomi Mellor, the podcast has already welcomed Andrea O’Keeffe, Lizzie Kelly, Rose Grissell, Dominique Tortice, Amy Starkey and Claire Kubler, to name a few. Expect candid conversation, personal stories and an informative listen. Search “Racing Home” on all major podcast platforms or follow this link.

Women in Racing seeks new committee members!

wir 10 years

Following the end of term for some of our fantastic voluntary committee members, Women in Racing (WiR) is seeking to recruit new people to join our team:

  • Do you want to support a network of brilliant women working across British horseracing?
  • Do you want to play your part in helping others to succeed, through mentoring programmes, bursaries and the Racing Home programme, for example?

Our committee aims to:

  • Bring together a network that represents the broadest areas of the sport, with a commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Combine a range of skillsets to support and grow Women in Racing as the network recovers post-Covid19 and looks ahead to benefitting its members and the sport in future
  • Support, where possible, the career development of our committee members through the varied opportunities presented by our activity.

We need members who are proactive, willing and able to juggle WiR commitments voluntarily alongside their current roles and responsibilities, and excellent team players. Specifically, we need help to look after our bursary programme, support and develop our membership and website and to deliver fun and engaging events for our members.

Find the current committee here: https://www.womeninracing.co.uk/about-us/

To apply, simply email info@womeninracing.co.uk by 5 August 2022, include your name, some background information and how you feel you could support and grow our membership. All applications will be responded to and considered carefully against the skillsets most needed to support WiR. Each term lasts up to three years – up to two terms maximum.

‘Racing Home’ goes live: a brand-new online platform for educating and empowering racings employers, employees and self-employed

Racing Home video launched

‘Racing Home’ goes live: a brand-new online platform for educating and empowering racings employers, employees and self-employed

Women in Racing, with support from the Racing Foundation, Kindred Group and their flagship brand Unibet, are delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Racing Home’ portal, www.racinghome.org.uk

The organisations have come together to launch racing’s first motherhood/parenthood portal as part of their ongoing project to educate and empower all stakeholders within the horseracing industry. Working parents, in particular women and those thinking about starting a family, can face significant challenges within horseracing. Employers, employees and those who are self-employed will have easy access to information about rights and entitlements regarding pregnancy, maternity, paternity, adoption, shared parental leave, flexible working, self-employment and statutory pay.

Users of the portal will also find an ‘Advice and Support’ section which demonstrates examples of good working practices and provides advice both employers and employees can take into consideration. This includes information around supporting carers, flexible and family-friendly working, remote and agile working, mental health and wellbeing and returning to work amongst other topics.

Also launching as part of the project is a ‘Pilot Programme’ which will deliver guidance for mothers returning to riding work post pregnancy. Working with ‘Specialist Rehabilitation Physios’, participants will be offered free physical, psychological and emotional support in Newmarket, Middleham and Malton as part of the pilot, with the objective to run this programme nationally within the year.

Additionally, the ‘Racing Home’ project is debuting a series of insightful podcasts hosted by equine vet and podcast producer Naomi Mellor. Hosted on Spotify and Apple Music, Naomi will be talking to trainers, jockeys, experts, and a host of the sport’s decision makers about their stories and experiences and how together we can shape a positive future for all families in horseracing.

Women in Racing Chair, Tallulah Lewis said: “Women in Racing are incredible proud to be launching the Racing Home Project with three key initiatives which aim to have immediate impact on the lives of all working parents. The work we have been undertaking has identified some serious challenges faced by mothers and parents working in the horseracing industry and two years of research and webinars have led to Women in Racing in tandem with Simply Racing and the industry stakeholders developing meaningful solutions that will positively impact the working lives of many, enhancing, wellbeing, resilience and quality of life. Our gratitude to Racing Foundation and Kindred Group for their foresight in sponsoring the Racing Home Project and all the women who contributed to its findings. We believe that these initiatives will bring significant positive change to many people’s lives.

Rob Hezel, Racing Foundation Chief Executive said: “The Racing Foundation is adamant that parenthood, in any of its forms, should not be a barrier to a career in the racing industry, nor should it mean derailing an existing career. Supporting current and prospective parents is crucial to improve retention of the industry’s workforce and it is so necessary given the struggles faced in recruiting and retaining staff. We expect the Racing Home platform will assist in making the racing industry more attractive, transparent and a long-term career option for staff now and in the future.”

Ed Nicholson, Head of Kindred Racing Communications and Sponsorship said: “We live in transient times, and both the racing and betting industries face many important challenges ahead. One common challenge is how we keep and develop our existing employees. Given that over 50% of the industries workforce is female it is both sensible and imperative that we all understand the issues that influence employment decisions for prospective parents and for those women thinking about returning to the industry having given birth or raised a family. Therefore, Kindred is proud to support this second phase of the Racing Home project, which helps to offer advice and guidance to educate and empower all stakeholders within the industry about motherhood/parenthood. At Kindred, we strongly believe a diverse workforce enhances 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”

To learn more: www.racinghome.org.uk

The Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Awards To Be Presented for First Time at the 2022 Aintree Grand Women’s Summit Supported by Pinsent Masons

The Aintree Grand Women’s Summit supported by Pinsent Masons will return at the Randox Grand National Festival in 2022. Set to be held for the seventh time on Randox Ladies Day (Friday 8th April), leading Corporate, Commercial and Sports law firm Pinsent Masons generously extends its support for the first time year and the 2022 event will see the first presentation of the Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award.

The Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award was launched by Aintree Racecourse in partnership with BBC Radio Merseyside at the 2021 Randox Grand National Festival, in memory of Aintree late Chairman Rose Paterson who sadly passed away in 2020. The award combines two of Rose’s passions, the community and the Grand Women’s Summit, and its aim is to recognise on an annual basis a girl or woman from Merseyside who is making a difference to grassroots community sport, either through participation or support.

Nominations for the Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award can made by the public and Aintree is encouraging its community partners – Alder Hey, LFC Foundation, Everton in the Community, Park Palace Ponies, Military Vets HQ, Sunflowers, Alzheimer’s Society and Racing Welfare – as well as local sports clubs to make nominations. The judging panel is made up Rose’s daughter Evie Paterson, Alice Fox-Pitt, Sir Kenny Dalglish and Mike Hughes from BBC Radio Merseyside.

The winner and a guest will be given free admission to Aintree on Randox Ladies Day and will attend the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit Supported by Pinsent Masons. The winner’s name will be commemorated with a plaque on the Peter O’Sullevan Community Hub wall at the racecourse and they will also receive an annual pass to Aintree.

Evie Paterson said: “The Grand National and the Aintree Grand Women’s summit both meant a huge amount to my mother and it is a great honour that her name will be commemorated with the annual presentation of the Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award.

“My mother was very aware of the incredibly strong bond between the Grand National and the Merseyside region, so it is very fitting that this award recognises a person who is working for the benefit of the local community.

“I would like to thank everyone who has made this new award possible and in particular BBC Radio Merseyside for the great publicity they are providing.”

The host of the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit supported by Pinsent Masons will be Karthi Gnanasegaram.

A well-respected broadcaster across the BBC, Amazon Prime Video and Classic FM, Gnanasegaram has covered a wealth of major sporting events during her career including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, FIFA World Cups, Champions League, Premier League, Wimbledon, the US Open, Open Golf Championships, the Ryder Cup and Grand Nationals.

Karthi Gnanasegaram said: “I am thrilled to be hosting the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit in 2022 particularly as it has been a such a difficult three years for so many people since the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit was last staged in person in 2019 and therefore this year’s theme of ‘Mental Resilience’ is of enormous relevance both to the sporting and wider world.”

Jockey Rachael Blackmore, who created history in 2021 by becoming the first female jockey to win the Randox Grand National aboard Minella Times, is expected to be in attendance while another panellist will be four-time Ironman World Champion triathlete, Chrissie Wellington OBE. The full list of panellists will be announced in due course.

Among the topics for discussion at the 2022 Aintree Grand Women’s Summit is Mental Resilience, both within sport and its relevance to the general population, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tallulah Lewis, Chair of Women in Racing, commented: “It is tremendous news that the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit will be returning in 2022.

“The topic of Mental Resilience is a highly topical one and I am sure there will lots of fascinating discussion with a particular emphasis on women.

“To have sportswomen of the calibre of Rachael Blackmore and Chrissie Wellington in attendance is sure to make this year’s event extra special.”

Dickon White, Regional Director – North West, The Jockey Club, added: “The Aintree Grand Women’s Summit is a fixture at the Randox Grand National Festival and we are delighted to see it return on Randox Ladies Day this year.

“I am thrilled that Karthi Gnanasegaram with her wealth of experience across the sporting world has agreed to host and my thanks go to Pinsent Masons for its generous sponsorship.

“The Aintree Grand Women’s Summit was much loved by our late Chairman Rose Paterson and we are honoured to be welcoming her daughter Evie back to Aintree for the inaugural presentation of The Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award.”

 

Schedule and key times for the 2022 Grand Women’s Summit supported by Pinsent Masons at Aintree on Friday 8th April

8.00am – Panel to arrive

8.30am – Guest arrival & breakfast

9.00am – Introduction by host Karthi Gnanasegaram

9.00am – 9.10am – Welcomes by Evie Paterson, Tallulah Lewis of Women in Racing. Winner of The Rose Paterson Community Sportswoman Award to be announced.

9.10am – 10.00am – Aintree Grand Women’s Summit

10.00am – 10.10am – Q&A with Rachael Blackmore

10.15am – 11.30am – Course walk with racing VIPs (Katie Walsh and Nina Carberry, to be confirmed)

 

Packages for those wanting to attend the Aintree Grand Women’s Summit are priced at £79 for Women In Racing members and include the above plus a Lord Sefton Terrace ticket for the day. Tickets can be booked online at www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/aintree/events-tickets/grand-national/tickets/

Women in Racing in partnership with The Racing Foundation & Kindred Group – ‘RACING HOME’ PROJECT AWARDED KEY FUNDING

Racing Home video launched

Women in Racing

in partnership with

The Racing Foundation & Kindred Group

‘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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

For more information and registration visit www.womeninracing.co.uk

New interviews added to the Careering Ahead Interview Series

Our Careering Ahead Interview Series kick off again with a stellar line up from 14th January;

– 14th January, 7-8pm with Claudia McDougall

– 3rd Ferbruary, 7-8pm with Catch Bissett

– 17th February, 7-8pm with Suleka Varma

Head to our events page to find out more!

NEW EVENT! Control the narrative – insights into interacting with the media

Wednesday 20th January @2pm – £10

Everyone connected with the sport will have watched racing on television at some point but have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the other side of the camera?

Whatever your role in racing, you could find yourself the centre of attention, often at short notice, and will want to present yourself in the best possible light.

Women In Racing have teamed up with Bladonmore to offer members an exclusive opportunity to participate in a media training webinar.  This will provide a fascinating insight into the world of media and offer some essential tips and tricks on how to cope when the microphone is pointing in your direction.

The training will be tailored to benefit anyone in the racing industry and will also be useful to those who do not anticipate being directly involved with the media.

The cost of this training is just £10 and spaces will be limited!

Book now via the Events page to reserve your place!