In addition, gender pronoun badges will be distributed to the team. Passengers can also request their badge during check-in.
Uniforms are a crucial part of the work culture in many organizations. In addition to being a way to represent the company, uniforms can also be important for the safety of the workforce. However, most of the time uniforms confine people to stereotypical gender expressions and prohibit them from expressing themselves. But a little bit of thought with respect to uniforms can go a long way to make people feel included. Virgin Atlantic airlines decided to stand out and create an example about how to prioritize inclusivity, reports Bored Panda.
We’ve changed our uniform code to give our crew, pilot and ground teams the option to choose which of our iconic uniforms, designed by Vivienne Westwood, best represents them 👠 #SeeTheWorldDifferently pic.twitter.com/dbCP4WxObl— virginatlantic (@VirginAtlantic) September 28, 2022
Virgin Atlantic announced on September 26 that it is updating the organization's gender identity policy and removing the "requirement for its people to wear gendered uniform options." Previously, people were forced to wear uniforms according to their assigned gender at birth. Cabin staff, ground personnel and pilots will now be able to choose between wearing Virgin's bright red uniform, traditionally worn by women and consisting of a jacket and skirt, or the burgundy option, a blazer and pants with a tie, which is most often worn by men.
The announcement reads, "The policy, effective today, champions the individuality of Virgin Atlantic’s people by enabling them to wear the clothing that expresses how they identify or present themselves." The amended policy also made make-up optional and allowed visible tattoos for the crew and front-line people.
I've never flown on Virgin but this makes me want to. I'm sure changes like this makes lgbtq employees a little more happy to go to work everyday, and those who aren't will benefit from a happier work environment. Win win!— T DeMon Spencer (@Privlidge) September 28, 2022
This decision was undertaken after research suggested that enabling employees to embrace their individuality at work boosted, "mental wellbeing (49%), feelings of happiness (65%) and creates a better experience for staff and customers (24%)."
"Employees also reported feeling more accepted and comfortable when able to be their true selves at work (26%) and an increased sense of loyalty to their employer (21%)." the website adds. In addition, gender pronoun badges will be distributed to the team. Passengers can also request their badge during check-in. Moreover, Virgin Atlantic has also changed its ticketing systems to allow passengers with gender-neutral passports to purchase flights using the "U" or "X" gender codes, as well as the gender-neutral title, "Mx."
Love to see employers giving vital uniform choices to their employees. It's what they have to wear, so why not help them feel like they fit their style. Props Virgin 😉🛩— 👻🍂Claire Fall🦆🎃 Spooky but Thankful (@Now_Clairz) September 28, 2022
The airline will roll out, "mandatory inclusivity training" for its staff across Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Atlantic Holidays. It will also initiate "a series of inclusivity learning initiatives for tourism partners and hotels within destinations" to make sure passengers feel safe in countries that have barriers for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Jamie Forsstroem, cabin crew 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."
Enabling people to bring their true self to work empowers them to bring their best self to work.— Trans_Atlantic_Alison (@Pilot_Alison) September 28, 2022
Several advertising videos promoting the updated policies were uploaded by the airline. One of the videos included a varied spectrum of people with various identities, each wearing the Virgin uniforms in their own unique style, and even had an appearance from RuPaul's Drag Race judge Michelle Visage.
The airline's policy doesn't just include inclusive appearances. Allowing time off work for medical treatments linked to gender transition, a choice of changing and shower facilities that "align with the gender a person identifies as" and co-creation of a "personalized transitioning plan" are among the airline's current "trans inclusion policies," according to Evening Standard.
Loving how triggered some people are by this 🤣 I’m so glad I won’t have to sit next to one of them for 8 hours the next time I fly with @VirginAtlantic. Well done for unapologetically woke, I love it! 🏳️⚧️✈️🏳️🌈— TravellingJakeBlog (@travelling_jake) September 28, 2022
Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer Juha Jarvinen 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 Atlantic airlines is paving the way to a more gender-inclusive future and advertising it unapologetically despite some negative feedback. Its Twitter bio reads, "We’ve always championed individuality. Here’s to those that were born to fly. Those who see the world differently."