In an effort to let employees “wear uniforms that show their actual identity,” Virgin Atlantic today changed its uniform policy to eliminate gender-specific apparel regulations and to include pronoun badges.
The company’s “red” choice, which was previously most often worn by female flight attendants, or the “burgundy” option, which was formerly worn by male flight attendants, will be available for employees to pick from.
Additionally, Virgin is requiring inclusion training for all of its employees at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Atlantic Holidays, as well as for its tourist partners.
In an effort to “reflect the diversity of its workforce” and “offer its people a fluid approach to its red and burgundy uniforms,” the airline has partnered with RuPaul’s Drag Race star Michelle Visage. This means LGBTQ+ coworkers will be able to choose either the red or the burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects themselves.
The business will also provide optional pronoun badges that allow employees and consumers to indicate the pronouns they want to be used.
Requests for the badges, which are now available, may be made during check-in.
The statement made today, according to Virgin, is part of “an ongoing push to celebrate the uniqueness of its employees and customers,” and it involves giving more passengers the option to book tickets with the gender-neutral “U” or “X” marks.
All individuals having “gender neutral gender markers” on their passports, such as those from the USA, India, and Pakistan, but not those from the UK, are eligible to use this option.
The most recent policy changes are a result of the airline’s “Be Yourself” campaign, which earlier this year saw it become the first in the UK to let employees show off their tattoos while on the job.
One of the first major airlines in 2019 to abandon the policy of requiring female flight attendants to wear cosmetics and a skirt while on duty was Virgin Atlantic.
The revised gender identification policy, according to Virgin Atlantic cabin crew member Jaime Forsstroem, is really significant to me. As a non-binary person, it gives me the freedom to be myself at work and choose the uniform I want to wear.
In a stylized fashion photo that was just published, Michelle Visage, Tanya Compas, Talulah-Eve, and Tyreece Nye joined together with Virgin Atlantic to promote the new policy.
Michelle Visage stated: “These initiatives by Virgin Atlantic to improve inclusiveness for its people are incredibly essential and personal to me as the mother of a non-binary kid and as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
The gender identity policy enables individuals to accept who they are and present their whole self at work. According to this policy, “people feel powerful when they are wearing what best reflects them.”
She said, “I wanted to support this cause to make change in this world,” in a commercial film for the airline.
It is my responsibility as a mother, friend, and ally to change the world because I have a transgender kid.
Non-binary activist and performer Tyreece Nye, who took part in the campaign, said: “This policy gives everyone a place at the table.” It just gives everyone in the community a voice; it doesn’t take anything away from anybody.
It’s not about cancelling someone, said First Officer Alison Porte.
It’s not about getting rid of males or women. Just use more inclusive terminology, please.
“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are,” says Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer.
Because of this, it’s crucial that we give our employees the freedom to embrace their uniqueness and be themselves at work.
“We want to guarantee that our clients are addressed by their chosen pronouns, thus we want to enable our workers to wear the uniform that best matches them and how they identify.”
Virgin Atlantic began accepting applications in January in order to hire 400 additional cabin workers.
It’s the greatest jobs that make people fly, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome so many new cabin crew members to the skies with our recruiting drive, said Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer at Virgin Atlantic, at the time.
We are dedicated to promoting diversity both on the ground and on board, therefore we are looking for individuals from all backgrounds who aim to represent the welcoming, cheerful, and professional face of the airline, complete with the distinctive Virgin Atlantic flair and style.
“We promote uniqueness and individuality, and the way we sustain an inclusive workplace where everyone can flourish is by encouraging every one of our colleagues to be completely themselves at work,” the company states.
Since Virgin Airlines’ founding in 1984, female employees have tended to wear the airline’s renowned red uniforms.
Virgin employees have been wearing a variation of the attire designed by British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood since 2014.
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