Flight attendants, pilots, and other customer-facing staff at Virgin Atlantic no longer must wear gendered uniforms that match their biological sex. The move is the latest update to Virgin Atlantic’s gender identity policy.
Virgin Atlantic Eliminates Gendered Uniforms Under New Policy Update
Calling itself “the most inclusive airline in the skies,” Virgin Atlantic will offer its employees a “fluid approach” to its red and burgundy uniforms, meaning LGBTQ+ employees will be able to choose either the red (traditionally female) or the burgundy (traditionally male) uniform, as they wish. Visible tattoos are already permitted and now employees will be able to wear dresses while maintaining facial hair. However, flight attendants in burgundy uniforms will not be permitted to wear high heel shoes at this time. The red and burgundy uniforms cannot be mixed and matched.
Furthermore, the airline will roll out optional pronoun badges for both employees and customers. Virgin Atlantic has also updated its ticketing systems to allow for those who hold passports with gender-neutral gender markers to select “U” or “X” gender codes on their booking as well as the gender-neutral title, “Mx.”
Mandatory inclusivity training will also be rolled out and employees will be given time off for gender transition and be encouraged to utilize shower facilities that align with the gender the person identifies as.
Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained:
“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are. That’s why it’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work. It is for that reason that we want to allow our people to wear the uniform that best suits them and how they identify and ensure our customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns.”
The press release uses the term “true selves” four times in five paragraphs, though that term is not defined.
Virgin Atlantic also released this video explaining the new policy:
Finally, Bill Maher gives us some helpful food for thought related to this issue:
Asking such questions is neither homophobic nor transphobic.
Virgin’s latest update to its gender identity policy now allows employees to wear the uniform of their choice and will no longer designate uniforms as male or female. Facial hair and tattoos will be permitted while mixing uniforms or wearing high heel shoes while wearing traditional male uniforms will not be permitted.
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