It is most important to consider female safety when implementing global mobility and travel programs. As the number of women expats and global business travelers continues to grow, so does the awareness that these women face greater risks on the road and moving abroad.
Top concerns are traveling to certain countries with different attitudes towards women, sexual harassment, assault or kidnapping. As women make up an ever-increasing number of assignees and global business travelers, the company needs to do more to ensure the well-being of these female road warriors. Nothing beats the immense feeling of safety when going abroad.
Here are tips women can use to prepare:
- Find out about the host country’s cultural values and behaviors regarding women, and what types of behavior are most culturally appropriate.
- Put safety first and be aware of your surroundings.
- Dress and act like a local to avoid standing out.
- Carry a rubber doorstop to wedge the door from the inside at night.
- Register with your local embassy if the trip is longer than a week or you are moving to a new country.
- Make copies of your passport, itinerary, credit cards, insurance and important contacts. Store them on your smartphone, and give print copies to a trusted person in your home country.
- Have some local currency on hand. Not all places accept credit cards.
- Avoid using ATMs at night.
- Notify your bank and credit card companies of your move or travel plans.
- Don’t trust open Wi-Fi. Instead, consider using a mobile hotspot from your smartphone.
- Review your medical insurance policy coverage.
- Consider travel insurance options.
While the number one reason that women are accepting expat assignments or frequently traveling globally is to expand your company’s business, you will want to address basic safety needs, so they can get the job done!
Written by Cathy Heyne, Managing Director