According to Skift, 47% of females who travel do so for business, making women one of the fastest growing groups of business travelers. As this number continues to rise, it’s becoming more important than ever for companies to protect their female travelers against common safety risks such as sexual harassment, assault, theft and kidnapping.
Consider the following statistics from recent GBTA research:
- 71% of female business travelers believe they face greater risks than their male counterparts while on the road.
- 83% of females say they have experienced one or more safety-related incidents while traveling for business in the past year.
- 80% of females say that safety concerns have impacted their productivity on business trips.
- 68% of females who travel for work think their company should have policies that specifically address the needs of female business travelers (only 18% report having these policies in place).
When it comes down to it, females are often at greater risk while traveling and are looking to their companies to properly safeguard them.
Keeping female travelers safe
Companies of all sizes have a responsibility, called duty of care, to protect business travelers and alert them of any issues they may face while on the road. Consider taking the following measures to protect your employees.
Encourage female travelers to report incidents
Fewer than 50% of females will report a safety-related travel issue to their employer. This may be in part because females do not want to appear weak in the eyes of their employer or for fear that if they report an issue, they will miss out on future travel opportunities and career advancement. It’s up to you as the employer to ensure employees know they should report any and all travel-related safety issues. Similarly, be sure female travelers are comfortable saying no to business travel to a destination that is beyond their comfort level.
Research and educate ahead of time
Prior to a trip, ensure travelers are visiting safe regions and staying in accommodations with additional levels of security such as double locks and 24-hour guards. Educate travelers on their destination and alert them of any cultural, religious or legal gender-related matters they may face.
Consider a 24-hour emergency hotline
Provide all travelers with a way to reach assistance 24/7 in case of an emergency. Not only does this give the traveler peace of mind, it may save their life in a crisis situation.
Provide continuous, gender-specific training
While all travelers face risks while on the road, females have unique risks that should not be minimized. Consider offering traveler training on safety issues that particularly impact females, such as sexual harassment and kidnapping.
Work with a travel management company
A travel management company will work with your company to ensure that your policies and requirements address the unique needs of all your travelers.
Are you properly safeguarding female business travelers? If you believe your policies need to be revised, give the experts at Professional Travel a call today.
We’ve been providing corporate travel management services for over 50 years.
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