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HomeMICE IndustryBusiness TravelTraveling for work as a woman is less safe than traveling as a man, say North American business travellers

Traveling for work as a woman is less safe than traveling as a man, say North American business travellers

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More than one in four women business travelers feel uncomfortable traveling to countries where women’s rights aren’t protected vs. less than two in 10 men.

NEW YORK – This International Women’s Day (March 8), a new survey of North American business travelers (conducted by Opinium*) reveals safety and well-being concerns among women who travel for work.

Commissioned by World Travel Protection, a global leader in travel risk management, the survey reveals that more than six in 10 North American business travelers (70% US, 63% Can) believe that traveling for work as a woman is less safe than traveling as a man.

While both women and men say they often adopt safety measures while traveling for work, women are more likely to carry a weapon of some sort to protect themselves, such as keys or pepper spray (28% US, 14% Can), vs men (14% US, 12% Can). Women are also more likely to avoid after-hours work gatherings if traveling on their own (23% US, 27% Can), vs men (16% US, 21% Can).

Importantly, more than one in four women business travelers (27% US, 25% Can) say they feel uncomfortable traveling to countries where women’s rights aren’t protected, compared with a much smaller number of men (16% US, 16% Can) who say the same.

“Women business travelers face distinct challenges when on business trips, and enhancing their safety and well-being should be a priority for all organizations,” said Frank Harrison, Regional Security Director, North America. “When making plans for women travelers, it’s essential to consider the social rules and safety of the destination they’re visiting, including gender biases and laws, how they will get around during the work assignment, and any geopolitical risks that may exist.”

The survey also revealed that women travelers are much more likely than their male counterparts to feel anxious (38% US, 36% Can), stressed (35% US, 37% Can), and homesick (36% US, 33% Can) when traveling for work.

“Today’s travel landscape has never been more volatile, complex, or unpredictable, and mental health is a concern for all travelers,” Harrison says. “In addition to navigating the risks of a new destination, as well as travel delays and cancellations, travelers must also deal with the stress of being away from traditional support networks.”

World Travel Protection educates and trains businesses to mitigate exposure to inherent risks associated with traveling for all employees, with an emphasis on equitable travel and helping each individual stay safe. “We also prioritize providing support for mental health and well-being,” says Harrison. “Organizations need to understand that they have a duty of care to keep travelers safe.”

Harrison added: “When planning for business travel or any policies that affect employees, it’s important to recognize and uplift the voices of those who identify as women, especially those from marginalized and at-risk communities. This day serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and the need to address the intersectional challenges faced by women worldwide. Let’s continue to advocate for inclusivity, empowerment, and support for all women, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

*This release offers a snapshot of the attitudes and perceptions of business travelers from the US and Canada. Research was conducted by Opinium Research from February 1-8, 2024, amongst 1,000 adults who travel for business at least once a year in the US (500) and Canada (500).

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.