Bellevue, Washington (USA), November 4 2019: SAP has announced the results of a new SAP Concur survey revealing that more than three in four female business travelers have suffered harassment while traveling and more than one in two change their plans because of safety concerns.
The survey results identified concerns of personal safety while on the road and frustration that some companies seem to put self-interest ahead of employee needs. Notable highlights of the responding 7,850 business travelers in 19 global markets include:
Travelers often feel unsafe:
- Of the respondents, 58% say they have changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe, while 52% of business travelers cite travel safety as the most valuable training their company could provide.
- Millennials are more sensitive to current events: In the last 12 months, 42% of business travelers in this age range have reduced travel to a location because of political unrest or health hazards, compared to 36% of Gen X and 23% of Baby Boomers. Nearly as many of the Millennials (40%) selected a flight based on aircraft type, compared to 33% of Gen Xers and 21% of Boomers.
- Nearly one third (31%) of business travelers prioritize their own safety as the most important factor when taking a business trip, yet over half (54%) believe safety is not their companies' top priority.
Female travelers report high levels of harassment and sexism on the road:
- More than three in four female business travelers (77%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while traveling. Women are asked if they're traveling with their husband (42 %), ignored by service workers (38%), or catcalled on the job (31%).
- Nearly half of young female business travelers face discrimination. Forty-six percent of Gen Z women report having been asked if they were traveling with their husband compared to 31% of Boomers. At the same time, 41% of female Millennials have been ignored by service workers compared to 23% of Boomers.
LGBTQ+ travelers hide aspects of their identity when traveling for work:
- The vast majority (95%) of LGBTQ+ travelers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57%).
- Eighty-five percent have changed their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53% of their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues.
Business travel isn't getting easier or less stressful:
- Sixty-seven percent believe their company lags behind when it comes to adopting the latest technologies to make business travel easier.
- An overwhelming majority of business travelers (94%) are willing to share personal information to improve their business travel experience – an impressive number in an age of data privacy concerns.
- Thirty-seven percent of business travelers feel the most stress before a trip when they're planning, booking and organizing travel. On the flip side, when a traveler returns home, 24% of business travelers say they would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than complete an expense report.
"Societal issues and employee experiences are increasingly impacting the way we travel. With these shifts come new expectations from traveling employees that shouldn't go unnoticed," said Mike Koetting, Chief Product Strategy Officer, SAP Concur. "While companies continue to try and maximize traveler satisfaction, the reality is that employees are hungry for more empathy, guidance and better technology as they run into both common frustrations and unique individual concerns, leaving room for improvement among organizations of all sizes."
SAP Concur is the world's leading brand for travel, expense and invoice management solutions. Download the full whitepaper report here.
The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com), a leading independent provider of quantitative, qualitative and hybrid market research, among 7,850 business travelers, defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually from the following markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. The survey took place July–August 2019.