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Thursday, September 21, 2023

British Airways is Reviewing Uniform Guidelines

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Following rival Virgin Atlantic’s decision to scrap gender-specific uniforms, British Airways has stated that it is evaluating its uniform policies for pilots, cabin crew, and other front-line staff.

After this publication exclusively revealed that internal reevaluation of BA’s uniform and grooming guidelines had already started last November, the review is apparently almost complete.

The Heathrow-based airline revealed in a statement to The Telegraph that it was reevaluating its strict, decades-old uniform policy, but no decisions have yet been made.

“At British Airways we’re committed to an inclusive working environment and as part of that, we’re reviewing our uniform policy and will update our colleagues when the review is complete.”

When the time comes for British Airways to change its uniform policy, according to sources at the airline, it won’t be as bold as Virgin Atlantic.

As part of a comprehensive review of its gender identity policy, Virgin Atlantic revealed last week that it was abandoning standard gender rules. The eye-catching policy change allows employees to select the outfit that best represents them.

Virgin Atlantic recently lifted a policy that prohibited employees from wearing visible tattoos while wearing uniforms and already permits all staff, regardless of their apparent gender, to wear full faces of makeup.

British Airways has encountered a number of difficulties regarding its uniform policy in recent years. The airline was ordered to eliminate a regulation requiring female employees to carry a purse wherever they went as well as its insistence that younger female cabin crew wear a skirt.

In a letter that expressed concerns over the “sexualization” of the uniform, the union that represents the airline’s cabin crew and many other employees that BA “relegate expectations of makeup, heel length and buttoned up jackets to the history books”  in 2019.

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