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Virgin Atlantic Announces Non-Gendered Uniform Policy to Reflect the 'Diversity of the Workforce'

Virgin Atlantic new uniforms
Virgin Atlantic new uniforms

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has updated its gender identity policies. Among other things, the new policy allows flight crew more choice in their uniforms — no matter their gender, gender identity, or gender expression — including color and style.

Giving employees a chance to choose which uniform, designed by Vivienne Westwood, best represents them is one of the many steps the new policy will be introducing to the airline. In an effort to reflect "the diversity of the workforce" the airline calls the decision "a move that cements its position as the most inclusive airline in the skies," according to a release.

A fashion-forward video accompanies the announcement, featuring LGBTQ performers and advocates Michelle Visage, Tanya Compas, Talulah-Eve and Tyreece Nye.

"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," Visage, 54, said in the video.

"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 Seduction singer and RuPaul's Drag Race judge added.

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"If we are clean and we are pressed and we are looking the way we're supposed to look then why aren't we able to present as we identify?" Visage says later in the clip.

The ongoing drive is intended to champion the individuality of employees and customers alike, also offering branded pronoun badges for anyone working for or traveling with the airline. The badges are available upon check-in. Their ticketing systems will also allow passengers with passports that have neutral gender markers to select "U" or "X" gender codes when they book with Virgin Atlantic.

In the video announcing the uniform change, Jaime Forsstroem, Cabin Crew at Virgin Atlantic shared: "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."

Virgin Atlantic new uniforms
Virgin Atlantic new uniforms

Virgin Atlantic

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A company-wide training across the airline, as well as tourism partners and hotels, will be mandatory for all employees that focuses on inclusivity training and communication that makes LGBTQ customers feel welcome and cared for.

Virgin Atlantic launched their 'Be Yourself' agenda starting in 2019 when they stopped mandating makeup for cabin crew and gave all employees the option to wear trousers. More recently, they lifted restrictions about allowing visible tattoos for customer-facing roles.

The initiative also includes updates to its existing trans inclusion policies, which already allowed time off for medical treatments related to gender transition, personal choice of changing and shower facilities and co-creation of a personalized transitioning plan.

"At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are," Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic's Chief Commercial Officer said in the release. "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."

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Visit their dedicated website to find out more about Virgin Atlantic's inclusivity commitments.