Exploring FOXY Lady Blog

FOXY Lady blog is all about motoring and (by and large) written by and for women. Our new blog has moved to the FOXYLadyDrivers.com domain but you can still search our blog archive (2006-2017) via the lefthand search bar here.

Here’s how to find your way about our new FOXY Lady Blog which is filed into the following sections.

FOXY Car Reviews

This is a popular section comprising car reviews written by and for women.

If you’d like to write a review for us, we’ll thank you with a gift membership of FOXY Lady Drivers Club. Just email steph@FOXYLadyDrivers.com to request headings.

FOXY Information

These blogs have been written or edited by women for women. Some readers might find them a bit light on jargon? That’s because few females are petrol heads or mechanically-minded, although we welcome information from those who are.

FOXY Lady Opinion

Steph testing new runflat tyres

This is where FOXY Steph Savill adds her thoughts about the motor industry and women drivers in general.

If the motor industry spent more time regulating minimum quality standards it wouldn’t need so many complaints handling solutions. That sort of thing.


This is where you’ll find the latest FOXY blog posts, across all sections.

Women in the Motor Industry

ack: The Society of the Irish Motor Industry’s conference for women (June 2017).
Whilst the industry remains male heavy at the top of most automotive businesses we’re encouraged by the wealth of female talent in the wings and en route to boardrooms everywhere. So we work hard to promote as many careers to women as we can.

To appear in this section, email steph@FOXYLadyDrivers.com to request interview headings.

Women in Motor Sports

Why should the majority of the motor racing sponsorship money still go to male racers? Here we put the spotlight on the many fast women racers out there.

If you’d like to appear in this section email steph@FOXYLadyDrivers.com to request interview headings.

FOXY Top Tips

In a busy world where none of us seem to have any spare time for our cars, easy to read and clearly bulleted tips come into their own when we don’t know what we don’t know…

Again we try to make these tips as female friendly as possible without patronising our own.

A new home for FOXY Lady blog

Here’s where to find our new FOXY Lady Blog with effect from 1 January 2018.

FOXY Lady Blog has been hosted in WordPress since its inception. As tempting as it is to carry on this way, we now have a new Blog area within the Club website.

So we’re closing this WordPress blog from 1 January 2018 – with new posts appearing in the New FOXY Lady blog section instead.

Look out for a new section there called FOXY Lady Opinion where I’ll publish my thoughts about motoring services and women drivers in future.

You’ll also find Sections covering
+ Everyday ‘How To’ and ‘Tips’ motoring content, with women in mind
+ Commissioned Product Reviews
+ Car Reviews, by and for females
+ ‘Women In the Motor Industry’ career profiles

Thank you for your support.


Why blogging matters to small businesses

We’ll soon be merging this blog with the News and Information section of our website. Our various blog topics have all grown like Topsy but from 2018 FOXY Lady Blogs will be posted HERE, to make it easier for our readers.

FOXY Lady blog is critical to getting our message across. In our new Blog Section you’ll find a blog post explaining why we write what we do and how our blog reflects our strategic business plans. It’s all part of our ‘drive’ (pardon the pun) to get what we do to a wider audience as part of an affordable and measurable PR plan.

To raise awareness about the Club, I started the FOXY Lady blog in March 2008, writing for and about women drivers.

It’s not a sexy read and I doubt it’ll make it to the top of a busy female’s ‘must read’ blog list but if women want to know about motoring they stand a chance of finding useful insider information here, with their best interests at heart, when they need it most. Or decide to join the Club for 1:1 support of course.

Writing about motoring for women is certainly a perilous path to tread (some prefer simple and lightweight content whereas others find that approach patronising…) but I do this to amplify the Club’s key messages and for a whole raft of good business reasons.


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The motor industry and sexual harassment

How very depressing all this sleaze is but please don’t think I’m surprised.

Not just about dreadful sexual behaviour at the BBC and Hollywood – now we’re reading about serious bullying and rapists at Westminster, in schools and in sport.

Take the time to talk to females in other business areas and you’ll find that female harassment and worse comes in all shapes and sizes. In short it is alive and well in places near us all. Just scratch the surface and, given time, you’ll find a lack of gender respect and worse.

It’s all very worrying.

Will we find sexual misconduct specifically within the motor industry I wonder? As a male dominated industry that is a long way short of being squeaky clean in other areas, I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t the case here but where would we go to check and see? For example, where would motor industry ‘victims’ go (other than to the Police or media) and what are the lessons we could learn here?

Inappropriate sexual harassment, bullying and assault

Nobody will have sympathy for men like Dustin Hoffman, Michael Fallon, Kevin Spacey or Harvey Weinstein. Not the only offenders by a long chalk we know, but let them be the celebrity fall guys, ahead of many more I feel sure – reminding the rest of us how to behave. And let any legal force pursue them and take its full course.

But I do feel sorry for the good guys who know this sort of predatory sexual behaviour goes on around them. Disgusted sons, husbands and dads that despair of unacceptable peer behaviour, knowing the devastating effects this can have on vulnerable women.

So where are the problems likely to be found in the UK motor industry and what’s to be done?

Behaviour in the Automotive Industry

Let’s start with the role of ‘Driving Instructor’ as an example of individuals who are mostly men, in positions of power, and often dealing with young pupils. Instructor selection is an area for concern among parents and daughters but there are few female instructors as yet.

For example, I know of one recent incident where a male instructor asked to use a pupil’s bathroom after a driving lesson – he then seriously assaulted her. The police were informed but they weren’t as supportive as I’d expect them to be. This is another area that needs to be addressed.

There probably is a lot of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in the motor industry but I’m not saying sexual assaults because I don’t have this information. All I can be sure of is that when the workshop banter gets going (which many women put up with because they have no choice) women are often the target.

So it’s good to see the sexual harassment advice and guidance that ACAS gives employers at their website.

I often wonder how a male in a customer service role can serve a female customer with respect after an earlier lewd conversation behind the scenes? I don’t think he can.

And then there are the not uncommon reports of Swiss Toni-like car salesmen interested in single female car buyers. This is worrying when the business has that customer’s home address.

When the MD of a Top Ten automotive group suggested I talk to two senior women employees to be reassured that his business was a ‘female friendly’ employer, they both told me, in strict confidence, that neither would describe the business as this. I wish I’d asked more about the business’ equality policy at the time and was able to tell the CEO what they said…

I’m also intrigued why the whistle-blower route doesn’t seem to work more effectively. Are individuals worried about personal repercussions? Or perhaps this is because there’s no one independent organisation or specialist individual within the motor industry to take action here?

For example, what happens in a business when a complaint is made (about internal harassment or assault?) to the HR Department? Especially when the ‘accused’ claims consensual justification or that the claimant has made a false allegation?

Heaven forbid we end up with support services per membership association (there are 43 I’m told), each with a vested interest in hushing such behaviour up within their community?

Gender equality lessons to learn

I hope some important lessons might be learned by the motor industry from Hollywood and Westminster events.

1) That this sort of behaviour and misogynistic attitudes are commonplace, not just evident in headline news. And that there can be no room for complacency.

2) That sexual sleaze is likely alive and well in a place near you.

3) Whilst it remains mostly a male activity, women can also harass, bully and abuse men.

4) That sexual harassment, depending on the circumstances may amount to both an employment rights matter and a criminal matter, such as in sexual assault allegations. In addition, harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 can be a criminal offence. And employers as well as staff can be held liable for this.

What I’d like to see happening is that…

5) Women stop saying ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘it was only a knee/a joke’ or ‘it’s just male banter.’ No matter the instance, this is never acceptable behaviour.

6) Unaccompanied women of all ages must say NO when it’s suggested they go to someone’s flat or hotel room, late at night. Or when it comes to working late at night, alongside a man they don’t know or trust.

7) Employers look at and review all business occasions where social events and activities involve alcohol.

8) Women start to realise “It was not my fault. He took advantage of me.” rather than imagining they were responsible for any form of sexual assault.

9) Women decide NOT to join the boys club as their means of climbing the career ladder. Nobody should have to learn golf to be taken seriously for promotion.

10) The industry identifies and outlaws companies that use sexual images/innuendo to sell calendars and/or in advertising PLUS those that employ scantily or provocatively clad ‘promotional girls’ to gratify men. Men who’d hate their wives or girlfriends to be these calendar models or promotional girls of course…

A Note To Vulnerable Women In The Motor Industry

I’d like to finish with some advice for ambitious and talented women of all ages who might worry about being harassed or worse within the automotive industry.

It’s perfectly alright for women to behave like women even if they are working in a mainly male world. How else will we change this macho culture if we try to be like men, knowing that the dominant customer gender is female?

It’s pointless pretending this anyway. Men who encourage you to act like them, don’t respect you when you do. And most men are scared by the women who talk and act unnaturally tough and aggressive.

But perhaps the most important thing for women today is, how can you be proud about yourself if you feel you need to be someone you aren’t?

So don’t do this ladies.

Instead, be yourself, be proud, be a good female role model and win recognition for being a popular and talented team player, not a Queen Bee.

If you are an employer and you need to review your HR processes in the light of recent events, may I introduce Charlotte Allfrey from Metro HR consultants, as an excellent sounding board, following up with the level of professional and practical advice and guidance you may need.


PS: Feel free to contact me about any aspect of this to do with the motor industry by emailing me at info@foxyladydrivers.com

No More Motoring Nightmares This Halloween

It’s that time of year when we beg your forgiveness for taking a suitably seasonal but lighthearted look at the many tricks and treats to be found, all year round, somewhere in the motor industry.

So here are some FOXY things to consider this Halloween…

Spooky – how motorists in the know can often pay SO MUCH LESS for new cars than others who trust their car salesman to be fair by them.

Eerie – how we sometimes get sold things we don’t actually need or want, especially when we don’t know the right questions to ask or what homework to do first.

Ghostly – the shortage of women throughout the motor industry (from the Boardroom to the showroom floor) and, in fact, in management roles in business generally in the UK.

Witches – high flyers all of course, we couldn’t possibly criticise our own gender but suspect others might have their own description to suggest here…

Ghouls – those politicians, business owners and companies who don’t appreciate that women are equal BUT DIFFERENT – and need to be treated accordingly.

Things that go bump in the night – the sound of our jaws on the floor when we see our ‘female friendly’ message is gradually getting through in the motor trade!

Whatever you get up to on the night, we hope you enjoy your Halloween.

And please remember, being a FOXY Lady Drivers Club member means you never have to have motoring nightmares again!


Blogs For Women Drivers (2009-2017)