Brexit - where some women fear to travel
As Theresa May prepares to trigger Article 50 and commence Britain’s exit from EU, UK companies are already reconsidering their expansion strategies further afield. For many this will mean travelling to much more culturally diverse destinations.
In the 2016 Women in Business Travel Report commissioned by women’s travel safety solutions provider Maiden Voyage, 1 in 4 women reported to have suffered a negative incident when travelling on business. Over a third of those incidents related to sexual harassment. Many of those incidents took place outside of the EU. Almost 65% of respondents said that there were certain destinations that they would not be comfortable traveling to, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Brazil.
A massive 79% of female business travellers felt that they were under-prepared to deal with an incident should it occur and 75% agreed or strongly agreed that their companies should prioritise suppliers who could tailor their services to meet their specific needs.
Carolyn Pearson founder of Maiden Voyage said “We have seen a sharp increase in the number of enquiries for our female traveller safety training from UK companies many of which I know are specifically linked to ‘Brexit’. It is more important than ever that employers and their business travellers are aware of the cultural and legal differences in the countries where they will be doing business as these can increase the risk to women travellers. Whilst we recognise that the chances of something serious happening are slim, the impact could be huge. 31% of the women interviewed in our research said that they felt that their employers didn’t adequately take care of them when they were travelling on business. We are absolutely delighted to see the rise in employers stepping up to their duty of care responsibilities and hopefully this will have a positive impact on not only women’s travel safety but also foreign trade as a whole.