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For commissioning of the equipment why women could not be sent to the customers' location that you have not mentioned. What exactly are the safety issues? In most of the manufacturing plants, at least in India, women also work. What is the problem of your women employees to go to a place where local women work?
Many manufacturing units are in industrial belts but that does not mean that these are at isolated places. At isolated places, steel or power plants are located but these plants generally have huge manpower and the township of the employees adjoins to the plant. I have seen women are quite safe and secure at such places too.
Having said that, I do not mean to say that women safety is not important. Your women employees can work from 0900 to 1700 hours and can come back to the hotel. Let your client provide transport facility from hotel to the manufacturing plant and back. Make it part of the deal of the commissioning.
As far as hotels are concerned, most of the hotels keep extra vigil on the room if the room is occupied by a woman. Of course this is their part of internal security and these things are not generally told to the hotel guest.
I am little surprised that how come your woman employees have not come forward on their own to handle the activity of commissioning. In the course of my training profession, I travel lot and I found women travelling alone even to abroad. Why "security" should be the concern that needs further clarification.
Compared with women, men are little agile for the travel. Is agility the real issue but kept under the wrap of security?
21st February 2015 From India, Bangalore
There are a couple of points that your understanding misses out.
Generally Industrial Automation commissioning activities CAN'T be straight-jacketed in a 9-5 time window.
Quite often the work begins when other Non-Instrumentation staff is leaving & work can go late into evenings/nights & sometimes also can extend to >16-18 hrs at a stretch.
It wouldn't be realistic/practical for your Company to make arrangements for the women security @ onsite locations--especially overseas.
The ONLY way to handle this issue would be what Dinesh Divekar suggested--'Make it part of the deal.....'.
For ongoing projects suggest you take the concurrence of the client before you send any woman engineer for commissioning activity--meaning your Company's responsibility ends the moment the employee lands @ the client site & the client's responsibility of her security begins from that point on.
Maybe the women employees also ought to be given self-defence courses too for enahncing the emotional & mental frame of mind--would come-in handy especially IF she is being sent to African countries [I guess Middle East is ruled out anyway for women engineers doing plant assignments].
All the Best.
24th February 2015 From India, Hyderabad