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FCM Travel releases new gender equality report

A new ‘Women in Business Travel’ report released by FCM Travel Solutions UK has revealed that, despite current public scrutiny of the gender pay gap and equal treatment of women in the workplace, when it comes to business travel, male and female preferences and habits and are not that dissimilar. 

The report is based on a recent survey among 1,000 of FCM clients’ business travellers. 52% of respondents were women, and 48% male. 

Both genders dislike the same aspects of business travel. Top of the list is being away from family or partner (72%), followed by disruption to work, (38%) and disliking having to travel alone (14%).

More positively, 45% of women respondents said that they enjoy travelling on business in comparison with 39% of men. But both enjoy face-to-face interaction most (60%), followed by meeting colleagues and the experience of travel.

One notable gender difference which emerged however is the reason for business travel. Meeting clients is the single biggest reason for men (22 per cent), but is only true for 12 per cent of women, whose main reason is internal meetings (13 per cent) against 10 per cent for men. 

Duty of care also showed discrepancies as according to the FCM report only 18 per cent of corporate travel policies address the safety needs of female travellers. Additionally, although 61 per cent of buyers believe it is important to consider women’s safety, only 44 per cent have arrangement in place to allow female-friendly lodging options.

Jo Greenfield, UK general manager, FCM Travel Solutions, commented: “The number of female travellers has increased by 50% over the past five years and nearly two thirds of travellers today are women. At the same time, gender diversity and gender pay gaps are hot topics in the corporate world today.

“We decided to conduct research among our clients’ travellers to gain better insight into the needs and preferences of female travellers versus men and whether corporate travel programmes still need a more tailored approach,” explained Greenfield.

“Interestingly the results which have been published in our Women in Business Travel report indicate that male and female business travellers are more similar than ever before. With just a few exceptions, the tastes and habits of both genders are the same. Maybe Venus and Mars are closer to colliding than anyone realised.”

A full copy of FCM’s ‘Women in Business Travel’ report can be downloaded at https://www.uk.fcm.travel/report/women-in-business-2018