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Managing Travel Risks for a More Inclusive Future | Q&A with Our Experts


As we approach International Women’s Day 2024, with its theme of #InspireInclusion, it is an opportune time to discuss the unique challenges faced by women and those identifying or presenting as women when travelling. 

We asked our experts Dr Nikki Mepham, Regional Medical Director, Sally Llewellyn, Global Security Director and Shireen Advani Lee, Group General Counsel how organisations can create a more inclusive and safer environment for their female travellers. They address the medical and security challenges women may face when travelling, how to best mitigate these risks and the trends expected to rise looking forward. 

What medical and security challenges do our subscribers face while travelling? 

From the importance of pre-trip planning and awareness to confidentiality and independence of advice for all travellers, our experts share the primary types of cases we manage across our 27 Assistance Centres pertaining to female travellers.

What advice can you give towards hotel safety for a diverse workforce? 

Sally Llewellyn and Dr Nikki Mepham discuss the vulnerability of being unwell in a foreign country, and how crucial it is to be able to access care without compromising safety. This is an area where the security and medical teams work very closely together to deliver the best quality care. 

What legislative requirements should organisations consider when implementing a diverse travel risk management programme? 

Shireen Advani Lee, Group General Counsel shares her views on the importance of implementing anti-harassment policies in the context of business travel. To protect their diverse workforce during key travel events like conferences and social gatherings and provide a pathway to resources and on-the-ground support. 

What trends could we see in the future that could impact female travellers and do you think the risks will improve or worsen in future? 

Sally Llewellyn and Dr Nikki Mepham discuss the emerging trends impacting female travellers, like the importance of mental health and the emergence of disease and infections in new parts of the world due to climate change. They also discuss the rising number of female travellers, entering new locations and environments and how this broadens the risk environment for managers who are striving to meet their Duty of Care obligations. 

How International SOS Can Help? 

Travel risk management for women is not just about mitigating risks; it’s about inspiring inclusion and ensuring that women and those identifying or presenting as women feel safe, respected, and valued. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, we encourage organisations to commit to making travel safer and more inclusive for women around the world. For the latest advice and assistance, download our Assistance App, and listen to our latest podcast episodes, such as: Staying Safe as a Woman Travelling in Sub-Saharan Africa | Podcast.