THE BLOG
16/02/2015 12:37 GMT | Updated 18/04/2015 06:59 BST

Women... Your Country Needs You to Vote

Some of us feel compelled to decide the fate of Celebrity Big Brother and vote for the winner of X-Factor yet the political parties in the UK seem to be missing the mark when activating female voters. Why are these "missing millions", who many believe will provide the swing vote in the May election, not being inspired?

Some of us feel compelled to decide the fate of Celebrity Big Brother and vote for the winner of X-Factor yet the political parties in the UK seem to be missing the mark when activating female voters. Why are these "missing millions", who many believe will provide the swing vote in the May election, not being inspired?

The answer to this conundrum lies at the very heart of the political parties who should have, like any brand, a clearly differentiated and distinctive positioning that resonates, inspires and creates a following with various sectors of society, including women. Before the campaigning began, the parties should have identified the policies that will attract voters and help them to win the election but where are they?

Attempting to get to the bottom of this question, I turned to an illustrious group - the members of WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications London), some of the most influential women in the advertising industry.

Nearly 60% of the women involved in the study believe that women feel all the parties/candidates are the same, and 54% of them do not believe that women's views are represented or understood by the politicians seeking their votes. This lack of understanding was epitomised by Labour's 'pink bus' roadshow early this week, which unfortunately got dismissed as deeply patronising to female voters rather than engaging with them in a relevant and engaging way, so that they would listen to their commitments to women at large in the UK.

The most worrying result of my study is that more than half of these women do not believe that women feel that their vote will make any difference - if only they knew the power they hold in their hands.

If any of the parties wanted to take look at campaigns that reached out to women and activated them in their millions they could learn from 'The Campaign for Real Beauty' from Dove, and the celebration of women by Sport England in the new campaign "This Girl Can". Both engage with what it is to be a woman in breathtakingly honest and insightful ways, demonstrating deep understanding and celebrating the very essence of womanhood. Who wouldn't be prepared to listen to a politician who showed equally deep and valuable insights?

Only this week Tory MP Bernard Jenkin admitted that the Conservatives need to get more women into parliament to improve the gender balance in the House of Commons and I'd have to agree. Please include more inspirational female role models on your front benches that we can identify with and who, hopefully, will push forward policies that engage with us.

For our politicians, one quote that sums up what women really want from them: "Talk to us about issues that women of all ages are facing in the current economic climate (and in real life)". More real, more honest, more constructive debate, less grandstanding, less hype.

Perhaps this straight talking will come when Tory Employment Minister Esther McVey, Labour's Shadow Women's Minister Gloria de Piero and Lib Dem Business Minister Jo Swinson take to the Loose Women sofa to discuss politics - only time will tell.