Virgin Atlantic will allow pilots and crew members to wear uniforms that match their gender identity as part of a slew of policy changes that the airline says “cements its position as the most inclusive airline in the skies.”
The company announced its updated gender identity policy in a Tuesday press release, which will let LGBT employees of the airline choose between the bright red blazer and skirt formerly donned only by its female employees or the dark burgundy suit and tie that its male staff had worn exclusively before.
“It’s so important that we enable our people to embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work,” Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer, said in the release. “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.”
Staff and passengers also have the option of wearing pronoun badges. They can be acquired when they check in for their flight or at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Travelers who hold gender-neutral markers on their passports can now select “U” or “X” gender, and go by the title “Mx.,” when booking their flights as well. Only travelers from the U.S., India and Pakistan can currently hold these passports, according to the release.
The company commissioned a poll that found that letting employees express themselves at work boosts happiness (65% of respondents), increases mental well-being (49%), creates a more positive workplace culture (36%) and provides a better experience for customers (24%).
The poll was carried out by 3Gem between Sept. 5-6 and polled 2,000 adults from the U.K. who were 18 and older.