Women are the most rapidly growing demographic in business travel today. Over half of travel programs in 2018 had a higher percentage of female travelers compared to 2-3 years ago. Yet, with so many women traveling for business, there is a vast deficiency in programs dedicated to helping these travelers feel safe.

Women Face Safety Concerns

According to a recent survey from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 71% of female business travelers feel that they face greater risk when traveling than their male counterparts, with particular concern of sexual harassment and assault or kidnapping when traveling to certain countries and cities. These concerns are valid, as 80% of women have reported that safety concerns impacted their productivity on business trips in the past year. There are plenty of steps that women and their travel managers can take to mitigate these risks:

Steps Your Travelers Should Take 

General

  • Regularly communicate and share your itinerary with travel managers, friends, and family
  • Always remain vigilant, and research your destination beforehand to avoid getting lost
  • Keep your phone charged at all times

When Traveling by Air:

  • Use covered luggage tags, and write your office address instead of your home address
  • Schedule flights that land during daylight hours

When Booking Hotels:

  • Only stay in hotels with 24-hour onsite security
  • Request rooms on the third floor or higher, limiting access from the outside

For International Travel:

  • Register chauffeured ground transportation ahead of time and confirm the driver’s name and license plate before entering a vehicle
  • Research the culture ahead of time and know how to blend in
  • Keep your passport on you at all times, and wear a hidden money belt with your wallet contents

Travel Managers Must Do Their Part

As an added step, travel managers and TMCs should ensure that they are providing their female travelers with the resources they need to stay safe. In 2018, only 39% of travel programs reported regularly providing chauffeured transportation to female travelers. One out of five travel buyers reported that their company does not offer an assistance hotline, which is crucial to female travelers – especially to those facing a dangerous situation. These resources, along with mindful booking, regular communication, and careful planning, are essential to giving women the security that they need to focus on their jobs, rather than their well-being, while traveling.

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