Tag Archives: girls

Apparently Mini boys are more popular than Mini girls…

Great British Minis we love...
Great British Minis we love…

Over half of the world’s Minis are boys, with the most popular name being Marvin, according to the world’s first ever Mini Census.

The survey, carried out by the organisers of Mini World Live which takes place at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Northamptonshire this July, received responses from Mini owners all over the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Malta and the USA.

The survey suggests that 51% of the world’s Mini population is male, 35% are female and 14% have yet to be sexed it seems.
Among the boy Minis, the most popular names are Marvin, Tommy (Cooper) and Jack, although there’s a developing trend towards the names Dave, Stuart and Bob, made famous by Minions – The Movie.

A Mini Mrs Mop we presume?
A Mini Mrs Mop we presume?
Girl Minis tend to follow a more alliterative tone, with Minnie (perhaps unsurprisingly), Mollie and Millie being the three most favoured names.

Some of the more unusual Mini names include Pingu (because he’s white with a black roof), Tetley (because he has more holes in him than a tea bag) and Mojo Jojo, after the evil monkey in The Powerpuff Girls.

Randomly, one imaginative correspondent has named her Mini ‘Leigh Halfpenny’ after the Welsh rugby international…because he’s smallish, gorgeous and powerful.

The survey also proves the diversity of the world’s Mini owners, from 17-year old Luke from Auckland in New Zealand plus male Mini called Sheldon (after Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory) to 80-year old John from Bangor in North Wales whose female Mini is Mavis, named after his late wife.

Commenting on the survey, Mini World Live event manager, Katherine Chappell, said: “Mini owners have a real sense of community, and their cars are just as much a part of that community as they are. Minis, both old and new, are the most celebrated and characterful cars in the world, and with Mini World Live we want to celebrate that character.”

Mini World Live caters for fans of both classic and modern Minis, including a concours competition, a huge retail village, club displays and on-track action. And there’ll be live music, refreshments and camping on offer to give this event a vibrant, festival feel.

A good fun motoring day out not to be missed we say!

UK motor sport careers for girls

Dare to Be Different karters at Daytona Sandown

Few of us know of or appreciate the vital economic contribution UK motor sports makes to our economy.

The last figures from the Motor Sports Association (MSA) tell us that in 2012, the UK motor sport engineering and services industry earned no less than £9 billion, having nearly doubled this turnover in a decade.

And that period included a long and tough recession.

Some 4300 companies are part of the motor sport industry and employ about 41,000 people with nearly 90 per cent of these businesses exporting worldwide. And, as you might expect, there is a particular focus on R&D with some firms spending more than 25 per cent of their annual turnover on development.

What is the most important resource in the motor industry?

Guess what resource is the most important to any ambitious industry and employer? It’s the human resource of course – the best talent there is on offer – regardless of gender, race and age.

Yes, motor sports is undoubtedly the sexy side of the motor industry (compared to working in a garage or selling car parts although each to their own) yet it has the same dilemma. That of getting its career message through to as many appropriately talented and ambitious females alongside the already open door for traditionally petrol-headed males – that girls can do and can enjoy a wide range of industry careers that have been previously thought of as no-go areas for them of old…

Getting the motor sports career message out to girls

A UK motor sports initiative to change this gender stereotype raced off the starting grid at Daytona Sandown Park on 13 April 2016 with 100 schoolgirls gaining an invaluable insight into every element of motor sport from driving and engineering to media skills, fitness and nutrition.

Founded by former Formula 1 driver Susie Wolff and the MSA, Dare To Be Different is a high-profile new initiative designed to inspire, connect and celebrate women in every aspect of motor sport. Following months of preparation Dare To Be Different’s first event took place at the state-of-the-art Daytona Sandown karting facility in Surrey, bringing together 100 girls from ten local schools.

Daytona provided Honda-powered 160cc Cadet and 200cc Junior karts for the girls to earn their racing spurs and compete in a tyre-changing pit-stop challenge, Williams sent along an F1 show car for technical tours and photo opportunities and Sky F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham taught the eager participants the tricks of the trade when it comes to interview etiquette.

Dare to Be Different hovercraft buildingNot only that, but ambassadors from national flagship programme STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) gave up their time to assist with a fun and educational hovercraft-building exercise.

In addition to all this, workshops on diet and fitness meant that each girl left with a comprehensive understanding of every facet of this fascinating sport – and as an official Dare To Be Different delegate.

Dare To Be Different Ambition

Former F1 racing driver Susie Wolff explained what the thought process is behind such an event.

“We want to see more girls coming into motor sport at grass-roots level, and karting is just one aspect of that. The breadth of potential careers within motor sport is immense, and to reflect that, beyond the karting we also offered the girls journalism and media presentation skills, hovercraft-building, fitness workshops and nutrition advice. Today is just the start of the Dare To Be Different journey – there’s so much more still to come.”

The MSA – the UK governing body of motor sport – was represented by its CEO Rob Jones, who added

“Motor sport is one of the very few sports in which women can compete at the same time and on equal terms as men – it offers a level playing field for everyone, and each event entails a phenomenal behind-the-scenes effort. By the same token, behind every driver are hundreds if not thousands of people working in different but equally essential areas of the sport.

“It was fantastic to have the Williams F1 car here. Claire Williams is the perfect role model to illustrate what women in motor sport can achieve. We hope that some of these girls will ultimately come to work in motor sport, be that as competitors or in some other professional capacity. That is the underlying aim of this campaign – to market and raise the profile of the career opportunities available within the sport – and what we saw today was a fantastic start.”

There are currently around 1,500 female MSA licence-holders in the UK which, whilst a significant number, represents only five per cent of all those competing in motor sport events throughout the country – a proportion that Dare To Be Different is eager to increase.

Dare To Be Different 2016 dates:

17 May, Nutts Corner, Crumlin, Northern Ireland
22 June, Daytona Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes
25 August, Knockhill Circuit, Fife, Scotland
15 September, Daytona Manchester, Manchester

To Find Out More

Here’s the Dare To Be Different MSA website details where these events will no doubt be announced at soon.

FOXY says:

This is a marvellous initiative and one I’d love to see as part of a Big Picture motor industry careers roadshow to sell the message of ALL motor industry careers to women. To women of all ages, including those that chose an early career in a more female friendly industry and who now could be tempted to bring their much needed business and customer service skills into automotive Boardrooms and senior management roles… As well as selling apprenticeship roles to young females and males alike.

But how marvellous to see Susie and Claire paying back – doing their bit to encourage other females into following in their impressive career footsteps. Two fantastic role models that WILL make a genuine difference to gender recruitment in UK motor sports in future.

And who knows… maybe a future spin off of Dare To Be Different might result in a new racing championship for females? As I see it, if women can have their own golf, tennis, swimming and team sports championships, why not a motor racing league for women too? Why wouldn’t we Dare To Be Different here as well?…


PS: Here’s what FOXY Lady Drivers Club does and how to join the club.

Women choose different employee benefits

Thanks to payandbenefitsmagazine.co.uk

A couple of years ago I attended a conference about employer/employee benefits where I had wanted to see if FOXY Lady Drivers Club might be a good one for caring employers with a large female workforce.

When I suggested this I got the same answer from three of the biggest schemes ie FOXY wasn’t inclusive (it’s just for women) and they couldn’t offer it for women alone.

So today I was interested to read research from PwC confirming what I’ve always known, that there is a sharp difference between what men and women want from employer benefit schemes, salary add-ons and staff perks.

Apparently a one size fits all approach no longer works.

For example, the PwC study of c2400 UK employees found that medical insurance was valued higher by women than men whereas company car schemes were rated higher by men. And so on…

PwC’s Alastair Woods explains ‘Put simply, men tend to prefer shares and pensions while women tend to prefer medical insurance and childcare vouchers. But it was hard to draw really firm conclusions other than that employees need an increase in choice.’

Those businesses that need supporting research to make commonsense decisions about staff benefits like this can now see that women and men don’t want (or have) to be treated the same in terms of employer benefits. This is a good thing…

This is not an equality thing

But for any Doubting Thomases, let’s not confuse this with equality considerations in any way (as many often do).

Men and women are entitled to the same education, rate of pay, jobs and training opportunities as well as parental work sharing/responsibilities. This approach is called Feminism and it’s why men can and should be Feminists too.

But when it comes to spending money or shopping we are very different.

By all means contact me if you’d like to offer a low cost employer benefit (ie FOXY Lady Drivers Club membership) for your female staff or customers. It’s an exclusive and caring service to help women run safer and more reliable cars, for less, and with a friendly 1:1 support service when motoring gets stressful. All these areas affect staff performance of course.

Employers can then be seen to do the right thing re any grey female fleet of drivers/cars whilst meeting their duty of care at a low price. And Club members ie women drivers can trust us to always put their (family) best interests first.


Girls Go Technical with BMW

girls go techie apprenticeRecent research I was involved in confirms that girls who like to know how things work, enjoy fixing things, doing the equivalent of mental crosswords and restoring order where there has been chaos, often make excellent technicians.

Add to this the fact that as many girls as boys are demonstrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) talents at GCSE level and you’ll understand why BMW is actively courting girls and encouraging them to go techie rather than head off towards stereotypically more female friendly industries like health, beauty and fashion.

So much so that young females aged between 15 and 24 are invited to follow MINI production from body panels to engine building culminating in a completed car rolling off the line on BMW UK’s 2014 Girls Go Technical programme.

Participating females are encouraged to consider a technical career within automotive manufacturing and the BMW programme will run from Monday 27 October to Friday 31 October at Birmingham, Oxford and Swindon production plants.

Simon Farrall, Head of Apprentice and Associate Training at BMW Group UK said:

“The automotive industry is still seen as a more appropriate career path for boys so this programme is designed to address this inequality of opportunity to attract more girls to consider a technical career in this field.

“On completion of the programme, the participants will have gained an insight into the manufacturing processes and experienced the day-to-day challenges encountered by engineers and technical apprentices.”

What the programme includes

Selected females will spend four days at the heart of MINI and BMW’s UK production network including time at the manufacturing site closest to their home region for in-depth work experience as well as time at MINI Plant Oxford where they will see MINIs being built.  

All participants will have the opportunity to take part in activities in the Oxford plant’s bespoke training school featuring state-of-the-art classrooms, dedicated computer study areas and a fully-equipped workshop.

“Working in the car manufacturing industry is an absolutely amazing experience”, said Rebecca Pallet, a current apprentice at MINI Plant Oxford. “I’ve always wanted to be able to build cars and with BMW Group’s support I can now pursue my dreams. I hope my example will encourage other girls to apply for our apprenticeship programme.”

Now in its second year, the Girls Go Technical programme is a part of the annual UK government-industry initiative “See Inside Manufacturing.”

Entry criteria and the application process

The entry criteria for the programme are four GCSEs at grade A-C to include Maths, English and one science subject and predicted grades will be accepted.

Applications can be made online at: http://www.facebook.com/BmwCareersUK

A great way to get fit – Mums walk to school

Research shows that 3 out of 4 girls of school age are currently failing to meet the minimum recommendation of an hour’s moderate physical exercise a day. A simple solution would be for many to walk to school it seems with nearly half of all primary school children living within one mile of their school and three-quarters within two miles. Despite this, more than half are being driven to and from the school gates every day; not just by Mums of course but mainly if the photo is typical here.

With this in mind, Olympic and Commonwealth Gold Medallist heptathlete Louise Hazel has joined forces with Kia Motors (UK) Ltd to raise awareness of road safety issues and encourage children to get active by joining a walking bus (rather than just hopping in Mum’s car).

The Kia Walking Bus initiative coincides with International Walk to School Month, October, where primary school pupils across the UK join forces with those in more than 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the fitness benefits of walking to school.

kia_walking_busThe photo is of Lytchett Matravers Primary School in Poole, the most recent school to sign up here, on their walk to school earlier this week.

Whilst it might seem unusual for a leading car manufacturer to actively discourage car use, Kia has been involved in this scheme for over 10 years now, benefiting children’s health, easing traffic congestion around school gates and helping the environment in the process.

The commonsense logic of all this is best summed up by Louise who is an excellent role model for primary school age girls to understand how and why daily exercise keeps them mentally and physically fit.

“The Kia Walking Bus is a simple way to do something to encourage children to keep active and fit within everyday life. Furthermore, it’s fantastic to know that the scheme contributes to reducing emissions and road traffic and helps create a healthier and safer walking environment for everyone, throughout the year.”

Well done Kia – how can we help you next International Walk To School month?