A joint GBTA and AIG Travel study found that female work travelers have more on their mind when it comes to corporate travel security.
Women’s safety is a hot topic at the moment, and female work travelers are anything but strangers to the subject. From carrying a host of valuables to navigating unfamiliar streets on your own, any business trip poses risks to corporate travel security, with potential threats often multiplying for women road warriors.
Earlier in 2018, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) teamed up with AIG Travel to assess how businesswomen have a different experience from businessmen in regards to traveler safety. Surveying hundreds of female road warriors, all of whom have embarked on at least four trips in the last 12 months, the study reveals the delicate nature of traveling for work as a woman.
Significant Takeaways from the GBTA/AIG Travel Study
The number one concern for female road warriors highlighted in the GBTA/AIG Travel study was general women’s safety, followed by sexual harassment/assault and travel to certain countries/cities. These potential risks, along with past safety breaches, can impact many facets of a business trip.
According to the study, 86% of women reported that safety considerations had a direct impact on their reservation decisions. In particular, accommodation and transportation are greatly affected — around two-thirds of the women surveyed indicated that the security of their hotel’s surrounding area is important. Additionally, Airbnb, flying, or ride-sharing habits are hinged on similar safety concerns.
An overwhelming 80% of women divulged that security issues have harmed their productivity. As female work travelers ourselves, the scenarios aren’t difficult to imagine: leaving a Wifi-laden café mid-project to avoid walking back to your accommodation after dark or or being too shaken after an incident to focus on work.
Sadly, work travel opportunities can be harmed due to heightened safety concerns. The study notes that security anxieties have influenced the trip frequency of 81% of female business travelers and the destinations of 84%. Allowing fear to dictate the parameters of a business trip is hardly a solution, and GBTA and AIG Travel also offer some insight into fixing this issue.
Policies in Corporate Travel Security
Nearly three-quarters of the women surveyed expressed that threats to their safety seem more numerous those of their male colleagues. With corporate travel security vital to the success of any company’s business travel aspirations, the GBTA/AIG Travel study points out the value of understanding the unique experiences of female road warriors.
Communication is key to combating the risks posed to female business travelers. Employees appreciate having access to a few different methods, as noted in the study:
- Speaking openly with the company’s travel manager about concerns or incidents
- Having mobile check-in capabilities or messaging tools to update your team of your whereabouts
- Calling an assistance hotline
Most importantly, having other female professionals to speak with can make the difference between okay corporate travel safety resources and great ones. Of the survey respondents, 67% would prefer communicating with a fellow woman to hash out their worries and experiences.
One way that companies can minimize safety concerns is by providing useful resources for their female road warriors. Since business travel can put you in so many different environments, it’s vital that the company takes responsibility for the unique, and sometimes risky, scenarios in which they’re placing their businesswomen. Being provided with general safety tips, preventative measures, or self-defense training are all desired by female work travelers.
“The research findings show that many female business travelers are aware of and concerned about the challenges they may face while traveling for work, while employers still have plenty of room to provide more guidance and resources to help women minimize those risks and experience safer travels.”
– Rhonda Sloan, Head of Marketing and Industry Relations, AIG Travel
More info on the findings of this study can be downloaded from the GBTA website.
Safety Tips for Female Work Travelers
These are some of our favorite safety tips for female business travelers, and we’d love to hear yours in the comments below!
Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.