Horse Racing Ireland is committed to a workplace environment that promotes diversity and inclusion and creates an open and inclusive culture where everyone feels valued. 

We formulate and implement policies and practices that provide equality of opportunity and ensure that no job applicant, employee, customer or business associate receives less favourable treatment. We also ensure that all our policies and practices reflect our commitment to treating people fairly, promoting an integrated way of working and respecting the dignity of employees at all times.

What is Gender Pay Gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference in the average hourly wage of men and women across a workforce such that it captures whether women are evenly represented across the organisation.

Whilst there is now a legislative requirement to report on this data, Horse Racing Ireland have been tracking this data and ensuring that we have measures in place, where required, for a number of years.

Societal Considerations

Gender pay issues are one small part of a very broad agenda in relation to Diversity and Inclusion. There are a key number of areas which contribute ultimately to the data which can give context to differing hourly rates of pay between the genders such as the spread of parental leave taken between male and female employees, the frequency of carers leave been taken between male and female employees, and the volume of employees working part-time or on reduced hours across the genders.

What do we look for in the data?

The main areas covered in the data relate to hourly rates of pay across the genders, performance related bonus payments across the genders and other payments which may be made attracting benefit-in-kind across the genders.

Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021 | Reporting Requirements 2022:


What does this information tell us?

For the most part we have less than a 1% gap between genders in the organisation.

There are two key areas requiring monitoring for us - employees on part-time contracts and employees on temporary contracts.

Part-time roles are available to both genders but more often sought by women, with 78% female representation in part-time positions.

Due to the nature of our industry, with c.390 race meetings per annum, there is a large requirement for temporary contract employees, mostly racecourse based and including evening, weekend and public holiday working hours.  This population of employees has various working patterns with some employees working one or two days a year, some employees only working at a particular location, with others working on multiple dates and in multiple locations.  

What is Horse Racing Ireland doing to address the Gender Pay Gap?

Reducing our gender pay gap is a priority for Horse Racing Ireland.  

All our employees bring their own background, work style, distinct capabilities, experience, and characteristics to their work. We recognise that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to managing people does not achieve fairness and equality of opportunity for everyone. As well as treating people with dignity and respect, Horse Racing Ireland strives to create a supportive environment in which all employees can flourish and reach their full potential, regardless of differences, disabilities, experiences, or education. HRI have a flexible working policy in place and all requests in relation to protected leave and the application of that leave in practice in HRI are considered and implemented proactively.

Equuip is the education and training department of Horse Racing Ireland which aims to develop our people, to enhance their skills, build their careers and to support employers within the industry to retain their people through positive action. 

Some of the initiatives ran this year, across HRI and equuip, have included training and education initiatives in the Corporate Governance Area covering the requirements to have greater representation on Boards and committees from our female employees and female industry participants, Unconscious Bias training and flexible working policies including hybrid working and condensed hours.  Equuip have supported WINR, a network established to promote greater participation and inclusion for women in the Industry.

We continue to partner with the Irish Management Institute to ensure the opportunities for our people managers and employees exist to grow and develop their own competencies in the areas of people management.

Key considerations for us in 2023 and beyond include mentoring programs, network opportunities and continued support to encourage greater participation of women by removing the barriers and supporting women to put themselves forward for opportunities.

By providing people with the tools they need, HRI can equip them to have a strong sense of purpose and develop career paths within the thoroughbred industry in Ireland.