British Airways has announced its new uniform rules that allow for the crew to express their gender identity.
All employees in uniform will be allowed to wear mascara, false eyelashes, and earrings regardless of their gender identity as of Monday.
Accessories such as handbags and nail polish are also included in the refreshed dress-code.
Staff have been urged to continue to stick to “subtle shades” of make-up and nail polish, while neon and black nail polish are still not permitted. “Man buns” are now also allowed under the updated grooming rules.
A memo released to staff by the airline ahead of the change read “Be bold, be proud, be yourself.” It also emphasised the hope that the new guidelines would be “embraced by everyone regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, background, culture, sexual identity, or otherwise.”
These new relaxed rules do not extend to gender-specific uniforms and the airline’s ban on visible tattoos also still remains.
A spokesperson from British Airlines commented on the new dress code.
“We are proud of all of our colleagues at British Airways and we are committed to an inclusive working environment.”
“We have worked with our people to create updated guidelines for grooming, beauty and accessories, allowing our colleagues to bring the best, most authentic version of themselves to work every day.”
The announcement comes after British Airways competitor, Virgin Atlantic, released its new completely gender-neutral uniform rules, allowing all staff to wear either a pant or skirt dress option, make-up, and to show visible tattoos.
Virgin Atlantic also went the extra mile to include pronoun badges for all employees and their customers in order to “reflect the diversity of its workforce.”
Qatar Airways are a major shareholder in British Airways and have recently established a global joint network of routes and codeshare flights with British Airways.
Qatar doesn’t share the same views that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic share when it comes to uniform rules and are known to impose strict uniform guidelines on their flight attendants, including terminating crew for non-visible tattoos and other uniform code violations.
As a result of this partnership, there is speculation that British Airlines’ reluctance to match Virgin Atlantic’s relaxing of dress-code restrictions is a result of this partnership. Both British Airways and Qatar have yet to comment on this accusation, according to The Guardian.