Employers fail to keep female business travellers safe abroad

Organisations have a long way to go when it comes to providing the right travel safety advice to female employees

Women are travelling for business more than ever as they make up 45% of corporate travel market and one in five hold management positions.

According to medical and security services firm International SOS, organisations still have a long way to go when it comes to providing the right travel safety advice to female employees. It highlights the need for gender-specific, pre-travel training for female business employees as a significant portion of business travel is taking place in high risk destinations in Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Areas of particular concern for women abroad were identified as sexual and opportunistic crime, cultural sensitivities and local health systems and risks. The survey revealed that 75% of respondents felt that their organisation should be more prepared to address the specific travel needs of women.

International SOS has seen a 20% increase from 2011 in the number of women travellers calling its Assistance Centres for medical and travel security advice, with 751 women calling in the last two months, and 400 in June alone. 

Eliza Murray, Regional Security Information Manager Asia Pacific, International SOS & Control Risks, said: “Companies have a tendency to ignore the fact that women may experience additional threats to those faced by their male counterparts when travelling on business.  Prevention is far better than cure, and the rise in the number of women needing our assistance shows that employers have a real Duty of Care to better prepare their female workers for business trips.”

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