Female business travellers face greater personal safety risks on the road, but few corporate travel policies take such threats into account, according to a survey from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
The survey of US corporate travel planners found that 69 per cent believe that business travel is generally riskier for women than men, and that 61 per cent said that risk-management programmes should specifically address threats faced by women.
However, only 18 per cent of such policies include such threats – which range from travel to certain cities and countries where harassment of women is commonplace, to sexual assault and kidnapping.
That’s despite the fact that more than half of companies say that more women are travelling for business than they were five years ago.
“As an industry we need to do more to ensure the safety of our female road warriors, especially as women make up an ever-increasing amount of our business traveler population,” said GBTA President Christle Johnson.
The survey found that most companies do not provide an emergency hotline for business travellers or chauffeured rides for female employees. Travel planners view choosing appropriate lodging as critical for the safety of women business travellers, but less than half of companies recommend lodging that’s considered safety conscious, such as rooms on upper floors, those with double locks, and hotels with 24-hour security.
The research was carried out in partnership with WWStay, a corporate travel company that vets lodging with the needs of women in mind.