Third of women ‘encounter harassment’ travelling on business

Almost a third (31.4%) of female business travellers have encountered sexual harassment when travelling.

Handbag theft is the second most frequent incident, followed by drink spiking and sexual assault.

Furthermore, almost 80% of women travelling on business claim they are under-prepared to deal with the incidents they encounter.

These are among the findings from a new report looking at female business travellers’ needs and whether gender should play any part in corporate travel management.

The Women in Business Travel Report was commissioned by specialist resource for female business travellers, Maiden-Voyage, from Travel Intelligence Network.

The report also revealed that:

• 77% of female business travellers say their company’s travel programmes should take account of their specific gender needs.
• 70.02% say travel providers need to try harder to address those needs.
• 73.4% say their experiences of travel providers affects their policy compliance.
• 75.3% say their companies should prioritise suppliers who pay special attention to the needs of female travellers.

Those surveyed came come from a wide variety of industry sectors including professional services, healthcare, technology, retail, education and government.

Just under half of the 200-plus respondents spend four nights or more a month away from their UK homes on business.

The research, amongst female company managers, directors, chief executives and owners, was supported by Avis Budget, CTI, International SOS, Priority Pass and Virgin Trains. founder and chief executive, Carolyn Pearson, said: “We live in a risk-filled world where corporates must remain ever-mindful of their duty of care to travelling employees.

“More women are in senior corporate positions, and more are travelling on business too, often alone.

“Travel management has changed too. Personalising the traveller experience is essential to maintain the policy compliance that drives maximum value from corporates’ travel spend, so travel managers are engaging with a more diverse range of stakeholders than ever before in a bid to create travel programmes that meet the personal needs of every business traveller. But, as our report shows, there is still much work to be done.”

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