HR Leader logo
Stay connected.   Subscribe  to our newsletter

The proactive measures that women take on business trips

By Kace O'Neill | |5 minute read

Travel safety is a necessity for business travel, especially for women who often face more harassment and discrimination in these endeavours.

A recent survey from World Travel Protection has revealed that 63 per cent of respondents feel that travelling as a woman is less safe than travelling as a man. Meanwhile, 88 per cent of women business travellers take a more concerted approach to safety precautions that enhance their security when travelling alone.

The statistics also show that women (44 per cent) express concern about the risks of sexual assault more than men (29 per cent). Women, therefore, will often focus on taking certain precautions to further ensure their safety, which their male counterparts will often choose to neglect.


The most common safety precautions that women business travellers will often employ include informing family or work of their whereabouts (39 per cent), avoiding after-hours events or gatherings (25 per cent), placing obstacles against the hotel door to deter intruders (14 per cent), while some women (10 per cent) report actually carrying a weapon of some sort like pepper spray or keys to defend themselves.

Kate Fitzpatrick, regional security director at World Travel Protection, has acknowledged the overall importance of highlighting the fact women face more harassment and discrimination than men while they are travelling.

“When making plans for travellers who identify as women, it’s important to think about the social rules and safety of the destination they’re visiting. This includes how they will get around safely and any political problems,” said Fitzpatrick.

Another aspect that can often be disregarded is inconsistencies with views on gender equality and women’s rights in various countries. Twenty-nine per cent of women noted feeling uncomfortable travelling to countries where women’s rights are not protected.

“Factors such as cultural norms, gender-based discrimination and safety concerns can significantly impact women’s experiences while travelling,” said Fitzpatrick.

Employers must assist their employees through the process of business travel, especially women. Making that extra effort to ensure they feel safe and secure can make a huge difference in their confidence and even their productivity during the trip.

Fitzpatrick said it’s encouraging to see that 58 per cent of women agree that their employer expresses concern about their wellbeing and takes steps to ensure their safety while travelling.

“This entails arranging timely flights, avoiding late-night airport-to-hotel journeys, and equipping all business travellers with a travel assistance app to share their location with the employer’s risk management provider and receive crucial alerts,” concluded Fitzpatrick.

Employers must continue to do their due diligence when it comes to ensuring the safety of their female employees when they endeavour on business travel. The present dangers are alarming; therefore, plans and strategies to prevent them from forming and causing harm are crucial.



An employee is a person who has signed a contract with a company to provide services in exchange for pay or benefits. Employees vary from other employees like contractors in that their employer has the legal authority to set their working conditions, hours, and working practises.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.