Duty of care important to women business travelers

Issues such as transport and accommodation safey should not deter employers from sending female employees on work trips. Source: Shutterstock

FEMALE employees find business travel more stressful than their male counterparts, with issues like transport and accommodation safety at the back of their minds.

However, this shouldn’t deter employers from sending female employees on work trips, Maiden Voyage CEO Carolyn Pearson told SkiftMaiden Voyage is a community founded by Pearson to mobilize support for female business travelers,

The Skift report said “supervisors who don’t send women on business trips, in a misguided effort to avoid dealing with women’s safety issues, are doing their companies a disservice by suppressing that talent”.

Maiden Voyage wants to push opportunities for women by releasing a set of video courses for employers that cover subjects such as pre-planning and packing, safe ground transportation, hotel safety, intercultural awareness, and safe meetings and leisure time.

SEE ALSO: Female travelers book business trips earlier than males, study says

On top of that, the company also certifies hotels based on safety for women and offers sufficient training for hotel staff.

“If something goes wrong, the company will need to be able to show in a trial they took adequate measures to safeguard their travelers,” Pearson said.

“We know from the potential of the market we’ve entered that probably 95 percent of people are failing on that already.”

Some employers may find sending their women employees out on work trips more expensive because of added security measures. Pearson said about 85 percent of travel managers were more concerned about cost and compliance to travel policies than duty of care for traveling staff.

“But if something does go wrong the overall cost to the company, of course, is massive because it impacts everybody,” she said.

SEE ALSO: More companies enlisting travel risk programs for employees

“[It] Impacts the reputation, the actual cost of the person that’s left or has been injured or refusing to come back, or the insurance issues around that, the connected PR, [and] the time spent within HR.”

According to a study by Maiden Voyage, 31.4 percent of female business travelers globally have encountered sexual harassment while traveling.