Tag Archives: women

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.

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

Win Car Insurance Competition

Thanks to our FOXY Lady Insurance partner, Cornmarket Insurance Services, we are announcing a special insurance competition so that one UK female insurance policyholder can win up to £500 worth of car insurance at renewal time in 2018.

All you have to do is REGISTER FOR AN INSURANCE QUOTE (car, home, motorcycle or pet) – and read the Terms and Conditions on that page please.

We don’t promise that we can beat ’em all, but depending on perceived risk factors and during changeable market conditions, we are one of the only insurance services (if not the only?) to ring fence a totally female portfolio when it comes to motor, home, motorcycle and pet insurance.

Which is a good thing in most instances.

And there’s more.

An added bonus for non members

If you have yet to join FOXY Lady Drivers Club, just register for an insurance quote and enter this competition to receive a FREE Online Member gift subscription to FOXY Lady Drivers Club into the bargain. This makes you eligible for our Member Only insurance services.

If you are a member of FOXY Lady Drivers Club, please tell any female friends who aren’t.

We do this because only women can legitimately be members of a motoring club so we can then reserve our preferential insurance rates/services for female members of the Club. Who can then add partners and husbands of course. But not boy racers.

Sadly statistics confirm that it’s still young men that cause the majority of (and the most expensive) road accidents.

And being a motoring club for women drivers, our road safety advice and support services put women first and we don’t want to have to pay for these expensive male accidents.

Don’t miss out. We exist to save savvy Club members money. The more that join the Club the better the deals we can negotiate across the board. To benefit us all.


Buying a car in tears…

Screenshot-4A recent Inside Out South on BBC TV featured a lady who had a nasty car shopping experience involving an unscrupulous car dealer in Hampshire.

Her husband suffers from dementia, they drove a smart and immaculate low mileage 59 plate Citroen C3 and they’d been tempted by a VIP invitation to attend a car showroom sales event. No harm in that, surely?

When they got there the wife was sufficiently impressed by the promotion to say she was interested in a new car and to pay £1000 deposit towards a new car. I didn’t catch the model concerned.

A little later on, the car in question was delivered to her door. It wasn’t new, it had higher mileage than her C3 and there were considerable signs of wear and tear. It looked much worse than her own car. Needless to say she said she wasn’t happy and didn’t want to buy this. “Can I have my money back?”

Out came the verbal thumbscrews.

“You said you wanted this.” “I got this car specially for you.” “The deposit is non refundable”… as this unscrupulous salesman digs in for his commission here.

Then we heard about the price. A car that was worth £4240 as a trade price had been valued at £2700 when used in part exchange. A £1500 rip off and that’s before they marked it up on their website to £5800. Outrageous.

Happily she had family to turn to (often they don’t) and presumably the son or daughter alerted Jon Cuthill at the BBC. Needless to say, in the face of this publicity, the dealer admitted defeat, said they would not take things further and gave the lady her money back.

She’d learned a big lesson. Don’t pay a deposit for a car you haven’t seen. Or when you’ve got a perfectly nice and fairly new one…

Stress had taken its toll of course. Nobody gets compensation for feeling daft.

“I never thought I’d buy a car in tears.”

“I wake up in the morning and wish this would go away.”

“I’m scared they’ll come and take our car away.”

“It completely ruined a special anniversary.”

But as the likes of consumer programmes know, to get the customer out of tricky situations like this often involves promising not to tell others the name of the business. That’s what irritates me most because I fervently believe in naming and shaming – especially in an industry where salesman don’t have to be licensed to sell us cars ethically. And where too many salesmen are totally unprincipled here, targeting vulnerable ladies as was the case here.

Yes, we’ve had to remove public blogs to get members a settlement too… but only after we’ve told local ladies the facts and who the offender was. This is what we do within the Club after giving a business time to put things right where possible.

If the business doesn’t budge and clearly doesn’t care, we award them Red Cards and keep poking them via blogs like this and using social media. I wish I knew the car dealer in Hampshire that used such bully-like tactics here. I’d be delighted to give them a good poke today…