Safe travel doesn’t just happen. The key is for employees to think about security from the start. To help, companies should give all workers travel security tips, but it is doubly important that female workers be made aware of and trained for the special risks they face.
For example, if the traveler will be greeted by a driver, the traveler’s name should never be printed on a card and held up by the driver for anyone to see. Criminals will copy that card and pose as the driver, which can be the prelude to all sorts of crime.
The company should provide traveling employees with country-specific travel briefs, and when possible, the company should put the employee in touch with an in-country resident or business associate who can give an on-the-ground assessment of safety and security concerns.
In selecting lodging, travel planners should, of course, select hotels with a reputation for safety and security. They should also look for hotels considered safest for female travelers. For example, some hotels have a designated “women only” floor.
Female travelers should stipulate that rooms not be at the end of hallways, where they will be more isolated and vulnerable, or across from a stairway, which criminals use for sneak attacks and quick getaways.
Other tips: avoid attention, be alert and aware, and cultivate unpredictability. Lastly, women must know the country’s cultural mores to avoid sending the wrong signals.
Darlene Radloff is chief of security training and education at the ASI Group in Houston.