The Top 10 Things Working Women Want From This Election


It's no wonder we're ambivalent about politics. Not only has this election been described as "run by men for men", but 88% of the last government's cuts fell on our heads. When the great men do engage us, it tends to feel token: leaders' wives supporting marginal female candidates, women's manifestos suggesting we value childcare over everything else and, lest we forget, that dreaded pink bus. So what do working women really want from our leaders? Step Up tells it like it is.

  1. Take us seriously. Yes we're women, but we care about more than just babies and pink.
  2. Make work pay. Essentials cost the same no matter what your gender, but as women our income is lower. Policies that enforce equal pay and smash the glass ceiling get our vote.
  3. Show us you care. Steps have been taken, but whether it's female MPs or women on boards (both currently 23%), we want more. More representation, more visibility, more women in power.
  4. Help us look after our kids. Not all of us have them, but for those that do it's a big issue (caveat: just not the only issue). Paying the nursery out of our net pay and thereby being double taxed is downright unacceptable, as is the current free childcare offering which barely covers enough hours for our commute.
  5. Strength, honesty and authenticity at the helm. Cut the BS. We want someone who does what they say, says what they believe and has the gravitas to lead.
  6. Keep us healthy. Our wellbeing is crucial - without it we can't work. And that's before we even get started on that of our nearest and dearest. Take care of the health service and we'll take care of the rest.
  7. Support small business. Women-owned businesses are growing exponentially and many of those are starting small (not that we don't have big plans). Simplifying admin, reducing rates and supporting micro-employers will help us on our way.
  8. Help us onto the ladder. For many of us, no matter how hard we work, home ownership remains a distant dream. Having a place of our own to hang our trench coat feels like it should be attainable. Make it happen.
  9. We don't care about your wife. We're thrilled you have a happy home life but wheeling your spouse out to get our vote ain't gonna work. We want real policies not happy families.
  10. But if you have one, make sure she has a pedicure. Yes, we mean you Sam Cam. Although rocking the best campaign trail style means we might just forgive you.