How Can Businesses Better Accommodate Their Female Business Travelers?

Melissa Hirst

Melissa HirstMarketing and PR Manager of CT Business Travel

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Many roles requires employees to travel both regionally and abroad. But are businesses neglecting their female employees when it comes to ensuring their travels are safe? Survey results from CT Business Travel delve deeper.

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The number of female employees travelling for their role continues to grow, and as a result, they are beginning to make up a significant portion of the business traveler market. But are employees really paying attention to the needs of their female business travelers? While the safety and needs of all employees, regardless of gender, should be taken seriously, the female business travel market does have some unique aspects. 

In a new white paper, The World of Female Business Travel published by CT Business Travel, the eye-opening results of a survey presented to female business travelers were shared. With 31% of respondents stating that they travel once a month or more for business, it’s never been more important for employers to take stock of their business travel policies and ensure that the needs of female employees travelling for their role are met.

Have clear policies in place

The survey in this white paper revealed that 46% of women wouldn’t know what to do if they were to encounter a travel disruption or dangerous situation during their business trip. All employers have a responsibility to their employees, regardless of gender, when they are carrying out their duties and this includes when they are travelling for their role. 

For employers to be able to ensure this, a duty of care policy needs to be established and in place. But beyond this, the policies need to be thoroughly communicated with staff so that in the unlikely event that something should go wrong during their journey, employees are able to respond appropriately. For example, if a flight is cancelled, a hotel loses a reservation or if a natural disaster were to occur, the employer is responsible not only for the safety of the staff member but also for establishing contact to make sure alternative arrangements are made quickly. 

When participants in the survey were asked about their duty of care policies, just over 50% stated that their employer did have a duty of care policy in place, while 14% said that their employer didn’t. Shockingly, 34% didn’t actually know if their employer had one in place at all. These numbers show that in many companies, a duty of care policy is either non-existent or not appropriately communicated to employees. To protect a business, but more importantly employees, this must be established and well communicated.

Take extra safety precautions when arranging travel

The World of Female Business Travel also reinforces that safety is a top concern for female business travelers. In a time where leading aviation companies are seeing planes grounded and gender inequality and political unrest are rampant, it’s easy to see why safety is a top concern for business travelers. 

When asked to highlight the reasons that would cause them to avoid certain areas, women’s top answers were: 

  • Hotspots for dangerous activity (61%)
  • Political unrest (50%)
  • Crime rate (46%)
  • Gender inequality (25%)

To put female employees’ minds at ease before their journey, it’s important that employers reassure them that they’ve taken extra steps to ensure their safety during their travels. 

6 tips for ensuring safety of female business travelers

  1. Conduct in-depth research into any high-risk destinations or
  2. Ask hotels to arrange for a room that is not on the ground floor
  3. Ensure that hotels have a policy for not saying guests’ room numbers out loud
  4. Reserve a parking space in an area that is well lit
  5. Ensure that reception can arrange for taxis so that employees do not have to hail taxis from the curb
  6. Book flights, train times and other transport during the day and arrange for arrivals to be during daylight hours as well

While employers should be doing everything in their power to ensure the safety of all business travelers, it’s vital that they understand the unique challenges specific to women. Catering to these specific needs not only helps to ensure the safety of female employees but also offers them a more comfortable and smooth business trip.

Author: Melissa Hirst is Marketing & PR Manager of CT Business Travel.

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