A survey of UK business travellers has revealed that men and women have similar preferences and habits when it comes to travelling for work.

The “Women in Business Travel” report by the UK arm of FCM Travel Solutions surveyed 1,000 clients’ travellers – nearly 52 per cent of those polled were women, and the remaining 48 per cent were men.

Both genders reported similar thoughts on the aspects of business travel they don’t like, with being away from their family or partner topping the list (72 per cent). Disruption to work was cited by 38 per cent and disliking having to travel alone came in at 14 per cent.

While only 39 per cent of men said they take pleasure in travelling on business, 45 per cent of women felt the same. However, both enjoy face-to-face interactions (60 per cent), as well as meeting colleagues and the experience of travel.

Despite having similar feelings about business travel, one major difference did emerge from the survey; 22 per cent of men quoted meeting clients as their main reason for travelling, while this was only true for 12 per cent of women.

Women’s main reason for travel was internal meetings (13 per cent, compared to 10 per cent for women).

Companies’ duty of care seemed to fall short of looking after female travellers, however, with only 18 per cent of corporate travel policies specifically addressing the safety needs of women employees.

 Additionally, although 61 per cent of buyers polled believe it is important to consider women’s safety, only 44 per cent have an arrangement in place to allow female-friendly lodging options.

Jo Greenfield, UK general manager at FCM Travel Solutions, commented: “The number of female travellers has increased by 50 per cent 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.”

Download the full “Women in Business Travel” report here

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