Virgin Atlantic announced new non-gendered uniforms as part of its updated gender identity policy.
The update includes uniforms that allow employees to express their gender identity or gender expression in the way they see fit, including optional pronoun badges which will be made available for flying crew, ground team, and customers.
The change also includes the option for customers who hold passports with gender-neutral terms to choose gender-neutral markers when making a booking with the airline.
In the case that a customer isn’t able to hold a passport with gender-neutral terms, Virgin Atlantic plans to implicate ways to communicate between customers to ensure all are addressed by their preferred pronouns.
Jamie Forsstroem, cabin crew at Virgin Atlantic commented: “The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a non-binary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear.”
Mandatory inclusivity training will also be rolled out for employees across the Virgin Atlantic company, including holiday and tourism partners.
Alison Porte, Virgin Atlantic first officer said the following in the campaign video, “It’s not about cancelling people. It’s not about removing women or removing men. It’s just about more inclusive language.”
The update also extends to the existing trans inclusion policy, which will allow time off for medical treatments related to gender transition, the choice of changing and shower faculties that align with the gender identity of the individual and the opportunity to co-create a personalised transitioning plan.
Celebrity and LGBTQ+ ally, Michelle Visage participated in showcasing the new uniforms designed by Vivienne Westwood said “As a mother of a non-binary child … these efforts by Virgin Atlantic to further inclusivity for its people are extremely important and personal to me”
The airline also introduced the decision to offer cabin crew the option to wear trousers, flat shoes, and makeup in 2019 and more recently lifted restrictions to allow visible tattoos for crew members.
Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer said, “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.”
According to a British study, companies that enable self-expression of their staff and embrace all communities have an increase in mental wellbeing, happiness, and loyalty.
Other airlines such as United Airlines, US Airlines, and Japan Airlines have also taken steps towards gender inclusivity with changes to policies and airline greetings.