June 13, 2024

Over half of business travellers have experienced discrimination

Over half of business travellers (57%) have experienced or witnessed negative behaviours when travelling abroad for work.

This is according to new survey data from World Travel Protection, which is calling for organisations to understand the risk profile of each individual member of their travelling team, in addition to where they are going and what they are doing. 

The company has labelled these risk factors the ‘Foreseeability of Risk’, which ensures that potential risks are identified and minimised.

The survey, which polled 501 business travellers, also reports that around one in five business travellers say they have either noticed or received unwanted attention or been side-lined because of their race or gender. Women are twice as likely to say this as men (16% men and 31% women).  

Around one in seven (14%) have also felt the need to hide their sexuality or have seen a colleague hide their sexuality on a business trip.

Furthermore, 10% say that they have or have seen someone else refuse to travel to countries with anti LGBTQ+ laws.

Understanding who your travellers are and their individual risk profile should consider travel experience and past work, pre-existing conditions as well as their gender, race and ethnicity, sexuality and physical and mental health. 

“Witnessing incidences of prejudice and abuse are still too prevalent for business travellers, and when you’re in a different country with a different culture it can be difficult to know how to respond in order not to put yourself or your travelling party at risk,” said Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, EMEA, at World Travel Protection.  

“This research shows the importance of not only educating your teams about the potential geo-political situation of the destination they’re visiting, but also the local social norms and cultural sensitivities to ensure that, as far as possible, respect and tolerance are top of the agenda on all sides.”