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28th Sep 2022

Virgin Atlantic allows male staff to wear skirts in change to gender policy and uniform rules

Charlie Herbert

Virgin Atlantic gender policy change

Female staff at Virgin Atlantic will also be allowed to wear trousers if they wish

Virgin Atlantic’s crew, pilots and ground staff will now be able to wear whichever of its uniforms they feel most comfortable in, regardless of their gender.

The airline has announced the new gender identity policy which will let staff choose which of the Vivienne Westwood-designed outfits they wear to work “no matter their gender, gender identity or gender expression.”

The company said the move was to reflect the diversity of its workers, and to reinforce its branding campaign as welcoming and inclusive.

It follows a recent move from the airline to relax its rules around staff having visible tattoos.

Virgin is also introducing a policy allowing cabin crew and passengers to wear optional pronoun badges. Passengers can request these at check-in to ensure others use their preferred pronouns.

Its ticketing systems will also allow people whose passports have gender neutral markers – available in the US, India and Pakistan – to travel using those gender codes and the title Mx.

Furthermore, the company will also start mandatory inclusivity training, and initiatives for hotels in destinations where some people have faced more barriers to inclusivity, such as the Caribbean.

Juha Järvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer, said: “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.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage is one of those promoting the airlines new policies surrounding gender inclusivity. She said the moves were important to her on a personal level, explaining: “People feel empowered when they are wearing what best represents them, and this gender identity policy allows people to embrace who they are.”

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