Travelling For Work as A Woman Is Less Safe Than Travelling As A Man Say 69% Of Women Business Travellers

Business Insights

  • Survey Highlights Urgent Need for Employer Action on Safety Measures for Women Business Travellers

On International Women's Day (8 March), a new survey, conducted by Opinium* of 500 UK business travellers, revealed significant concerns among women who travel for work.

Commissioned by World Travel Protection, a global leader in travel risk management, the survey uncovers that a striking 69% of women business travellers believe travelling for work as a woman is less safe than travelling as a man. Furthermore, half of the women respondents believe their employers could do more to ensure their safety.

The findings shed light on the concerns of women travellers, with 52% worried about harassment or disrespect due to their gender or sexuality. Additionally, over half of the women (52%) fear sexual assault, and 58% are anxious about becoming victims of crime.

Women travellers often adopt safety measures when travelling: 16% place a chair or obstacle against their hotel door, and 10% use doorstop alarms. About 30% conceal their valuables to avoid drawing attention, while 13% have experienced unease in taxis or Ubers during work-related travel.

The survey also reveals a desire for more robust support from employers: 49% of women wish for more frequent check-ins during trips, and 45% feel their well-being isn't taken seriously by their organisations when travelling. Alarmingly, only 14% report additional safety measures when travelling solo.

The implications for organisations not taking women's safety in travel seriously are clear with two-thirds (66%) of women willing to resign if their safety is not prioritised, and 70% would decline business trips if they doubted their employer's commitment to their safety and well-being.

Incidents of sexual misconduct by colleagues are also worryingly reported by approximately one in ten women (13%) who said a colleague had come on to them during a business trip, and one in twenty (4%) who said they had been sexually harassed by a colleague, emphasising the need for clear internal guidelines on professional conduct during business travel.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, EMEA at World Travel Protection, said:

"Women business travellers face distinct safety and cultural challenges and enhancing their safety needs to be a priority for all organisations. Dedicated risk assessments for women travellers must include a thorough understanding of a destination's social and cultural norms, its transport infrastructure with regards to safety considerations as well as any geopolitical risks and tensions.

"World Travel Protection educates and trains businesses to mitigate exposure to inherent risks associated with travelling abroad, for all staff including solo women specific training. Along with training prior to departure, we provide medical, travel and security emergency assistance 24/7 to support travellers on their trip should an incident occur."

*Opinium online survey conducted with 500 people, who travel for business at least once a year in the UK, from 1 – 8 February 2024.

About World Travel Protection

For 30 years, World Travel Protection has taken care of corporate and leisure travellers across the globe by providing access to 24-hour emergency assistance. In addition to support services for medical, travel, and security emergencies, World Travel Protection – part of the Zurich Insurance Group – educates and trains businesses to mitigate exposure to inherent risks associated with travelling abroad. Emergency assistance encompasses medical case management, evacuation and repatriation together with providing access to virtual care services (telehealth) and security intelligence.

A key foundational component of a leading assistance provider is its global network. World Travel Protection's GlobalCare Network ensures our customers have access to over 85,000 providers worldwide.

Millions of travellers place their trust in World Travel Protection each year for assistance across 200 countries. For more information, visit