“How can companies develop programmes which enable female employees to safely and effectively conduct business?”

Posted: 03/05/2019

3 May 2019 - RPS Partnership

37 articles

Caroline Neil, Managing Director of RPS Partnership, was asked to speak on a panel this week at the Duty of Care Conference in London. The room was filled with an impressive array of professionals from all manner of companies, NGO’s and organisations across diverse sectors. She continues with her experiences:

"Our exam question affects not only 50% of the population but in many organisations considerably more than that", said Caroline. 

“How can companies develop programmes which enable female employees to safely and effectively conduct business?”

"An interesting topic and one which always elicits varying responses depending on which gender you are. 

Some women travellers have huge experience and confidence which may allow safe travel whilst others with a reckless “it will never happen to me” attitude may just get themselves and others into trouble. Just because someone is a first-time solo traveller may not mean they are timid and nervous, they may just need more coaching to plan their trip.

Of course, restrictive travel advice is never helpful to a business and as Sam Roper, pointed out on the panel, women are often more alert and tuned into risks when travelling. She also emphasised that taking a taxi late at night in London or Paris is equally as dangerous as taking one in Nairobi or Beirut; but is often overlooked in travel management. The risks are often the same for female travellers, wherever you are in the world. We more often than not concentrate on what happens overseas but travel closer to home often gets forgotten.

Arriving in the middle of the night in a strange country, in a strange city is never sensible no matter which gender you are. I have lost count of the amount of times employees across sectors have been told that arriving before dark is not a possible option, although considerabley safer and guess why? “My managers wouldn’t authorise the day flight as it came out their budget and was more expensive!” Yes, it really happens.

The four-overriding take-aways from the session were pretty simple.

  • Talk to your female travellers. Find out what they really need. After all they are human and often don’t bite!
  • Travel management for anyone regardless of any label attached should be threat and risk based for the location or environment.
  • Risk management always works best when sensible, proportionate and realistic, which will in turn allow it to be workable for your travellers; no matter which gender.
  • We need more diversity in security and risk management; it would help organisations better understand the needs of their staff and the risk environments they face when they travel.

Take a look at SheTravel, where we are bringing female travellers together so we can dicuss, offer advice and generally ensure safer travel. A fantastic new website, designed by Anna-Liisa Tampu"

Please do contact us if you are interested in running a Lone Female Traveller course for your female staff members on [email protected]

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