Virgin Atlantic updates its gender identity policy
Virgin Atlantic has introduced an update to its gender identity policy that allows cabin crew, pilots and ground team to choose which of the iconic, Vivienne Westwood-designed uniforms best represents them – no matter their gender, gender identity or gender expression.
In a move that cements its position as the most inclusive airline in the skies, Virgin Atlantic will offer its people a fluid approach to its red and burgundy uniforms. This means that LGBTQ+ colleagues will be able to choose either the red or the burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects themselves.
Jaime 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.”
Michelle Visage, Tanya Compas, Talulah-Eve and Tyreece Nye have teamed up with Virgin Atlantic to showcase the new policy in a stylised fashion shoot that has been released today.
Michelle Visage said: “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. People feel empowered when they are wearing what best represents them, and this gender identity policy allows people to embrace who they are and bring their full selves to work.”
The updated gender identity policy is part of the airline’s ongoing drive to champion the individuality of its people and customers. It is complemented by the roll out of optional pronoun badges for all its people and those travelling with the airline. The badges are available from today – just ask for your preferred badge at the check in desk or in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Virgin Atlantic has also updated its ticketing system and customers holding a passport with gender neutral gender markers will now be able to select U or X gender codes on their booking, and use the gender-neutral title, Mx. Currently its only citizens from a small number of countries, including the US, India and Pakistan, that are able to hold these passports and travellers must travel on the codes that match their passport. But Virgin Atlantic is working on a longer-term plan to amend communication preferences so that customers will be addressed by their preferred pronouns whenever they interact with the airline.
The airline has already unveiled a series of industry-leading inclusivity initiatives for its people to empower them to truly be themselves at work and feel comfortable in their roles. In 2019, Virgin Atlantic gave cabin crew the choice whether to wear make-up, as well as the option to wear trousers and flat shoes. More recently, the airline lifted restrictions around allowing visible tattoos for crew members and its front line people.