Inclusive: Virgin Atlantic Scraps Gendered Uniforms

Following the lift on their visible tattoo ban, Virgin Atlantic has updated its uniform guidelines allowing its cabin crew to wear whatever aspect of their uniform suits them and is the first ‘inclusive airline’ by making this step.

Virgin atlantic, inclusive uniform guidelines
Virgin Atlantic updates its uniform guidelines © PA News Agency

The airline announced that its pilots, cabin crew and ground staff now have the option of wearing its red or burgundy uniform. In a statement saying it wants to “champion the individuality” of its workers by enabling them to wear clothing that “expresses how they identify or present themselves”.

The inclusive policy was launched with a fashion shoot featuring TV stars Michelle Visage, Tyreece Nye, Talulah-Eve, and activist Tanya Compas. RuPaul’s Drag Race legend Michelle commented:

“As the mother of a non-binary child, and as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, these efforts by Virgin Atlantic to further inclusivity for its people are extremely important and personal to me.”

Virgin Atlantic goes further with inclusivity

Airline leaders are also implementing a longer-term plan to amend communication preferences to ensure customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns at all times. The option of including pronouns on workers’ name badges, and has updated its ticketing system to allow passport holders with gender-neutral markers to use the title Mx and select gender codes U or X on their booking.

To further implement the new uniform guidelines, mandatory inclusivity training will also be rolled out at all levels across Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Atlantic Holidays, as well as in conjunction with tourism partners, hotels, etc.

The initiative is the latest frontier in Virgin’s Be Yourself campaign. In 2019, executives offered cabin crew members the choice of whether to wear make-up as well as the option to wear trousers and flat shoes.

“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.”- Juha Jarvinen, Chief commercial officer 

Virgin Atlantic said its current existing “trans inclusion policies” include allowing time off work for medical treatments related to gender transition, a choice of changing and shower facilities that “align with the gender a person identifies as”, and co-creation of a “personalised transitioning plan”.

Could this attract more people that have transitioned (or want their identities to not be overlooked in the workplace) to want to work with Virgin Atlantic? Comment below.

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