Whether it’s a concern about terrorist attacks, identity theft, or simply food poisoning, your health and wellbeing is important while on the road. Unfortunately, according to a study by GBTA, women business travelers often feel concerned about their own safety while traveling on business. In fact, of the women surveyed, 80% reported at some point feeling worried about their personal safety while traveling. More needs to be done in the business travel industry to help women feel secure while traveling on behalf of their company.

Women business travelers often have concerns for their safety while traveling on business

This study from GBTA and AIG, found that:

  • 83% of the women surveyed reported that in the past year one or more safety-related concerns or incidences occurred while traveling for business.
  • 63% think about safety always or frequently while traveling, and their concerns for safety have been escalating.
  • 84% of women say their employers either did not provide safety tips or resources, or they were not aware of such tools. It is startling to think that majority of employers in the study are not providing the adequate duty of care and support for their employees. Even if these companies have risk management protocols in place, their communication is ineffective.

Ultimately, both the business traveler and the company wants the business trip to be productive and successful. Your travelers are less likely to do so if they are preoccupied with safety concerns or security issues. Women often feel these effects more in our society than other demographics, and this study shows how significantly under prepared most women feel when traveling on business. Recognizing this immense gap is the first step in helping to resolve the problem.

What can your company do to help women (and men) feel safer while traveling on business?

  • Listen to their concerns – As the person booking travel, you may not be aware that your go-to hotel in Seattle is down a dark alley and their after-hour front desk manager is a creep. Establishing an open culture in your office about business travel concerns could make a big difference. If travelers know they can come to you, you’ve already tackled one of the biggest hurdles in this issue. Depending on the travel policy or vendor contracts, you might not be able to change hotels completely, but you can at least keep these comments in mind when you review your program or vendor contracts down the line.
  • Discuss duty of care policies and procedures – We often find that most travelers don’t know the security features within their travel program. It often puts travelers at ease knowing that their itinerary is known, and communication is always open through features like our Security Check.
  • Educate travelers on theft, phishing scam and identity theft – Did you know that hotels have one of the highest rates of identity theft? Keeping your employees educated on the common threats, and more importantly, how to evert them, will provide them the tools to travel safer and with more confidence.

In this survey, 80% of the women at one point or another did not feel safe while traveling on behalf of their company. This should not be acceptable in the business industry today. It is up to individual companies to provide an open culture for employees to voice their concerns. As well as have effective communication for employees to understand the policies in place to make them feel supported.

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