Virgin Atlantic updates gender identity policy so cabin crew can have pronoun badges and choose uniform

Virgin Atlantic updates gender identity policy so cabin crew can have pronoun badges and choose uniform
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Tom Evans

By Tom Evans

Published: 28/09/2022

- 09:17

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:37

Virgin Atlantic says it has updated its gender identity policy to give flight crew the choice of which uniforms to wear

The airline has reversed a policy which required pilots, cabin crew and ground staff to wear a specific uniform based on their gender.

Staff will now be given a free choice between Virgin’s burgundy uniform – a blazer and trousers with a tie – or its red uniform – traditionally consisting of a jacket and skirt.

Jaime Forsstroem, a cabin crew member at Virgin Atlantic, said: “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.”

The changes come as part of a wider series of updates the airline is making to its inclusivity policies.

Virgin Atlantic planes line up
Virgin Atlantic planes line up
Wiki Commons

File photo dated 19/05/16 of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft lands at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. A Virgin Atlantic aircraft turned back to Heathrow after it emerged the first officer had not completed his final flying test. Issue date: Thursday May 5, 2022.
Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew rules are changing
Tim Goode

It will also be making pronoun badges available for crew, while customers could ask for their preferred badge at check in desks.

Ticketing systems have also been updated to allow for those who hold passports with gender neutral gender markers to select ‘U’ or ‘X’ gender codes on their booking as well as the gender-neutral title, ‘Mx’.

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.”

Virgin’s famous red uniforms had been typically worn by female staff since the airline’s inception in 1984.

Since 2014, Virgin staff have been sporting a version of the uniform created by British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.

In 2019, the airline stopped telling female cabin crew that they had to wear make-up and started providing them with trousers as part of their standard uniform, rather than only if requested.

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