Category Archives: marketing to women

Women want equality but to be treated like women not men. Female friendly service levels are a must.

More women needed in the motor industry

car dealer influencers 1000In its otherwise brilliant trade magazine for the automotive industry, my attention was halted by this all male photograph in the February issue of Car Dealer.

Apparently these are the 14 white men who are the Automotive Influencers otherwise described as ‘the people who shape the car market’ with a view to 2016.

Let’s be clear about this. These are said to be the guys who are the ultimate influencers of last year’s car sales of approximately 2.5 million brand new cars and 7 million used cars?

Of which 80% of these sales are said to be ‘influenced’ by women ie 2 million brand new cars alone…

But who clearly aren’t represented at the top of the industry? So there you have it – visual evidence of the gender divide.

The men who tell women what they can have and should buy. Versus the women who are telling the industry, time and time again, that they aren’t as happy as they could be with the cars on offer (in terms of the shopping experience as in cars, manufacturer communications, dealer service levels and so on).

Now why is it that the women aren’t happy enough? I know because they tell me and I read surveys about this of course. But could it be that the men at the top aren’t listening or understanding that men and women are different at car shopping time and that many women want MORE than is on offer? Don’t their wives tell them this?

And why is it that too many ambitious women and talented young females are choosing other industries for their careers, not ours? It’s because they can’t see ANY place in our future, looking at photographs like this one. Not one out of 14… why should they be expected to battle against these odds when they don’t have to in other industries?

Help make the car industry more female friendly

Come on Car Dealer. Let’s have women on your strategic agenda with a view to the future. You are a powerful influencer within the industry after all. Yes it’s good to see Sophie back in Editorial but you also need a Female SUIT. Let’s have tomorrow’s female role models in next year’s Influencers and a regular feature in between so we’re not forgotten. Not just women as a token sideshow at your next dealer event? That isn’t good enough.

Let’s listen to more of what needs to be an ongoing business debate about WHO the customer is and WHAT they want rather than who of the Top White Men drinks what brand of coffee or listens to what sort of music in their private life.

The Female Business Case

Having said all this, there are many inspiring male leaders in genuinely female friendly automotive Groups who are actively advancing the Female Business Case, with role models in their Board waiting rooms as part of their strategic agenda. For this has to start at the top, not the bottom of an organisation where most of the women work.

It would be SO good to see more of this inevitable and desirable gender change, to influence other businesses with a view to a better and more profitable future. To encourage aspirational women to speak their mind, unshackled by corporate cultures that equate equality to treating men and women the same as customers.

Yes, of course men and women are equal when it comes to employment issues but this is the MOST important bit, we are not the same when it comes to getting things right for us as customers or when it comes to attracting us as employees for that matter.


Steph Savill Limited

Happy to share all comments via @FOXYSteph

The importance of female networking clubs

emsworth_MNC There’s something about networking in a room full of noisy business women that is good for the female soul.

We laugh a lot, seem to understand each other and have much in common which makes it easy to slip into business when the time is right.

Yesterday I was at the launch of the Mumpreneurs Networking Club (MNC) in Portsmouth where more than 30 ladies turned up to find out more about this group.

NB: The photo is of the Emsworth Group by the way.

Whether it is for them ultimately depends on their commitment to the cause. If you attend regularly women will get to trust you and of course, given a choice, we all buy from people (and brands) we like. Networking is a great opportunity to be that business in female minds. I am a member of MNC and can recommend it to others providing they can take the time out to do the job properly…

The Mumpreneurs Networking Club is a growing business across the South East of England (mainly) but with a new satellite Group in Edinburgh so expect this one to spread its wings to other Scottish cities soon. Meetings are a combination of fun, information and targeted networking of course. An excellent way to fine-tune your ‘elevator pitch’ and get over the nerves of introducing your business, memorably, in close to one minute. When you’re nervous, one minute seems an age yet when you have news to tell it never seems enough.

The Portsmouth meeting was held at the Queens Hotel in Southsea with a magnificent location and impressive Edwardian features. The key speaker was a very focused female, Donna Jones, who is the first female Leader of Portsmouth City Council who clearly has an ambitious strategy for her time in office.

We all agree that ‘Women in Business’ is a critical area for expansion, wherever they are. Mums are everywhere and mustn’t be ignored within that picture. Sometimes it doesn’t make financial sense to go out to work simply to pay for childcare yet many businesses are built on kitchen tables and go on to spectacular achievements, all during school hours and holidays whilst the family is growing.

I was in Portsmouth to make sure than MNC members know that their 2015 subscription includes a gift subscription to FOXY Lady Drivers Club. Founders Nicky Chisholm and Sara Guiel appreciate that we can help busy women save money on motoring bills providing this is done wisely. This is where FOXY is unique alongside other motoring clubs. Yes we have moneysaving offers, preferential insurance rates, approved garages and new car buying deals but we always put safety alongside the need for good value.

This matters because the motor industry isn’t licensed so if you buy cheap regardless of quality checks you may find out why it was so cheap afterwards. Few motorists realise that garages aren’t registered and mechanics don’t have to be licensed – hence why so many garages and car showrooms have been known to rip women off.

NB: We only work with motoring-related businesses that meet our demanding standards and we then share feedback about them to be sure they are getting things right. Or else…


PS: If any other organisation would like to discuss a group scheme for female members or employees, like WMS Group in Thame perhaps, please contact me direct to discuss your requirements.

Wise holiday advice to pack with your sunscreen

Enjoy Your Summer Break
You’ve booked and saved for the family holiday for ages now and it’s almost here… so it’s time to get excited about your destination and the likely lazy days away from work.

Most women I know prepare a holiday checklist to include essential travel documentation, passport, driving licence, holiday insurance and spending money.

After the tricky family packing most of us do comes the more enjoyable packing to include our own holiday wardrobe, the best sun screen, trendy sunglasses and (to be on the safe side) a mosquito repellent – check!

But who of us has considered protecting our identity this summer? Which is why Experian has some really useful tips that few of us are likely to have considered we imagine.

In the same way you would take sensible steps to protect yourself from the sun, the following easy-to-remember tips can help protect you and your family from identity theft, which could result in a nasty holiday hangover if your information gets into the wrong hands…

1. Pack light

Handbags and wallets often contain lots of items containing personally-identifiable information that you won’t need on holidays. These could prove to be a goldmine for fraudsters, so do a clear-out of your handbag and wallet, removing items such as bills, receipts, out-of-date driving licences and medical prescriptions.
2. Stay in the shade

Don’t expose your personal or credit card information unnecessarily. Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi networks and public computers if you are doing anything which requires you to share passwords or financial information. If you have no other option, remember to check these sites are encrypted (indicated by a padlock symbol and the letters “https:”). Always log out after use.
3. Apply sunscreen regularly

Regularly updating the antivirus and firewalls for your devices is the most simple form of protection here. However, as with sunscreen, many of us forget to effectively reapply. These types of software are updated regularly with patches for specific bugs, so by not updating your software, you run the risk of having gaps in your protection.

4. Don’t get burnt

Identity fraudsters operate to make money and so one of the first ways you can spot fraudulent activity is by  closely monitoring your credit report.

If you spot any unusual activity and suspect that it may be an indication of identity theft, you can contact the Experian Victims of Fraud team who will appoint a dedicated case-worker to investigate and, if necessary, resolve any fraudulent activity not only to protect your bank balance, but also your credit rating. 

I for one wouldn’t have thought of all this and whilst it’s commonsense in most cases it’s good to have the heads up here.


Let’s hear it for women drivers in 2014

BC731X-makeup_2718170bWomen drivers face a lot of criticism which flies in the face of motoring facts. But the media evidence is often flimsy, flawed and biased.

The UK media has a lot to do with this. Take an earlier Daily Mail feature suggesting that nearly half of women apply make-up behind the wheel, allegedly, and are ‘possibly’ causing 450,000 accidents a year.

A fairly typical example of gender statistics making women out to be motoring muppets and sadly, seemingly, written by a woman who should know better. Because the female facts are that the majority of women drivers – with gender accident records backing this up – take a serious view of motoring and are more conservative drivers than men.”

According to the Daily Mail, 46% of women admitted to putting make-up on whilst driving, whilst 43% said they knew it was wrong. But this poll was carried out for a Harley Street clinic promoting a make-up range so they presumably have a vested interest in attention grabbing headlines about women and makeup. Shouldn’t the Mail make this clear?

Dream on Steph…

I can find no evidence from my experience, and certainly none from members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club, that women are these frivolous motorists who are powdering their noses as they approach a road junction… I think it’s a really bad way to represent us, reinforcing the bad reputation that some (mainly men) seem to have of us already…

However perhaps the most worrying aspect of the story is that few females defend us in the face of such an attack. Which is what FOXY does of course but some of these slip below our radar…

I have written more about this in a Roadio blog including other challenges women face whenever the topic of gender and motoring is raised.

I’d welcome more women joining with FOXY to kick such misogynistic behaviour into touch in 2014. And when it comes from women in the first place I’d like to know why they find it impossible or even humorous to slag off their own gender.

Me? I’m with Madeleine Albright here, the first US female Secretary of State, who said “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Nobody’s perfect but you don’t come across men rubbishing their gender when it comes to driving so why should we?


Champagne, lobster and luxury cars for ladies


Amanda Stretton, Rebecca Jackson and Amber Graafland are confirmed as this year’s Boodles Ladies’ Day judges at Salon Privé.

Salon Privé takes place from the 4th to 6th of September at West London’s Syon Park and describes itself as the UK’s most prestigious Luxury Super Car Show & Concours d’Elégance.

Amanda Stretton is a racing driver and motoring journalist who has appeared on several ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky 1 and Discovery Channel car, motorsport and travel shows. She also contributes to national and motoring titles whhilst occasionally turning her hand to modelling fashion.

Rebecca Jackson is a racing driver in the BRSCC Porsche Championship and presents ‘I Want That Car’ on ITV4. She is also a regular motoring contributor to the Sunday Times and Sun newspapers and has recently embarked on her own motor racing venture called Project Le Mans.

Amber Graafland @MirrorFashionAG is the Fashion and Beauty Director at the Daily Mirror, writing her own weekly celebrity style column there. We’re told that her professional eye for dress and fashion will be pivotal in the Boodles Ladies’ Day judging.

Dress code for the day is ‘Dress to Impress’ with the prestigious panel of judges selecting a short-list of ten best-dressed ladies. The ‘Best-Dressed Lady’ prize – an exquisite diamond pendant from the Boodles rose gold Blossom Pave range – will be presented to the lady judged to be ‘most stylish at Salon Privé’ by the panel.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0808 100 2205.

NB: Entry is fully inclusive of Pommery champagne, a lobster luncheon, English afternoon tea and full access to all areas.