A number of major airlines, including JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic, and Alaska Airlines, have begun to retire or seriously alter their gender-specific uniform policies.
In 2021, JetBlue became one of the first U.S.-based airlines to offer crew members a choice of uniform pieces, hair, and makeup combinations aimed at departing from the company’s previous gendered clothing policy.
“JetBlue’s gender-inclusive uniform and hair and makeup policy offers crew members a combination of uniform pieces, rather than items based on binary gender terms,” JetBlue spokesman Derek Dombrowski told the network. “By adopting a consistent and inclusive program, JetBlue ensures that all crew members can feel represented.”
Virgin Atlantic made a similar announcement followed by an advertisement campaign one year later, offering LGBTQ+ employees the ability “to choose either the red or the burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects themselves.”
Restrictions on visible tattoos, makeup, trousers, and flat shoes were also lifted by Virgin Atlantic.
Alaska Airlines also highlighted their “gender-neutral” uniform policy in 2022, writing that “fingernail polish, makeup, two earrings per ear, and a single stud nose piercing are expression options available to all employees.”
“We’ve also updated our grooming policies to allow tattoos in more locations, more hair style options and are adjusting the names of our uniform kits to be focused on fit vs. gender identifications,” according to the airline.
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