Virgin Atlantic job applications doubled after they allowed women to wear pants & men to wear skirts

See how things improve when you get rid of old traditional culture ways of thinking about gender.  Let it go.   There is no women’s clothing or men’s clothing, there is only clothing.   Let go of gender roles, it is a woman’s job or a men’s job, no it is simply a job.  When you stop putting everything in a box that only some are allowed to do, when you allow access to that thing by all, it makes everything better for everyone.    Hugs

An airplane taking off
Photo: Shutterstock

Now that Virgin Atlantic has ditched its former gendered uniform policy, women can wear pants, men can wear skirts, and job applications have skyrocketed.

The company has reported that the number of applications filed with the airline has doubled since implementing the new more inclusive policy. While other airlines struggle to fill staff vacancies, Virgin has no issues recruiting the best potential employees.

“We saw a 100% uplift in applicants following the campaign, ‘See the world differently’,” Shai Weiss, Virgin’s chief executive officer, said.

Gendered outfits have been tossed on the dustbin and so have other sexist requirements. Female cabin crew is no longer required to wear makeup, tattoos can be visible, and staff are now allowed to wear gender pronoun badges.

Pronoun badges will also be available to customers, who can ask for one at any check-in desk. Customers with gender-neutral markers on their passports will also now be able to select gender-neutral markers for their ticket bookings.

“In lieu of passports with gender-neutral gender markers being available for all, Virgin Atlantic is implementing a longer-term plan to amend communication preferences to ensure customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns across all touchpoints,” the company said in October when they updated the policy.

“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are,” said Virgin Chief Commercial Officer Juha Jarvinen. “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.”

Cabin Crew member Jaime Forsstroem celebrated the changes. “The updated gender identity policy is so important to me. As a nonbinary person, it allows me to be myself at work and have the choice in what uniform I wear.”


17 thoughts on “Virgin Atlantic job applications doubled after they allowed women to wear pants & men to wear skirts

  1. Sorry, Scottie. I CANNOT take it to the same ends as you. Men in skirts?? I do think clothing can –and perhaps should be— “neutral” in public positions, but men in skirts? Call me old school, but it would hurt my eyes.

    Further, criticise me if you wish, but IMO, this “gender thing” is getting out-of-hand. I know that what you went through in your own situation makes you extremely sympathetic, but forcing the multiple letter individuals on the general public isn’t the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How would it hurt the eyes? What’s wrong with men in kilts, or lavalava, or many other forms of dress of a similar nature worn by men? I personally prefer to wear a thobe rather than trousers, and if it wasn’t for the racist and religious taunts I received when I tried wearing one in public, it would be my “go to” attire. Sorry Nan, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander too.

      Women wearing trousers, was bordering on the obscene in my youth. I can recall when women were barred from restaurants for wearing “pantsuits” in the 1960s. It was a frock or skirt or banishment. I was with a group where one of the woman wearing a pantsuit similar to this was barred until she removed her trousers out on the street – her jacket being (just) long enough to be decent (so long as she was very careful with her posture).

      As far as pronouns go, this is simply a matter of European/Western cultural bias. I think most European languages have gendered pronouns, but this isn’t necessarily the case in other cultures. The two languages other than English that I have some familiarity with do not use gendered pronouns (in fact one of them goes to considerable lengths to avoid the use of pronouns altogether in polite conversation). Unless I am certain of a preference otherwise, I now tend to use they instead of he or she. I hope in time this will become the norm.

      During the height of the pandemic our Director General of Health was frequently referred to as she in overseas media because his first name is Ashley. Apparently it’s less gender neutral in some places than it is here. Wouldn’t it have been more sensible to use they because what does it matter what the gender of the Director General of Health actually is? To me it’s irrelevant, as it should be for everyone.

      This brings up the issue of titles/honorifics. In English, women have three (Ms, Mrs, Miss) and men have one (Mr). Then there’s a plethora of other titles: Sir, Lord, Lady, Dr, Professor, Father, to name just a few. Japanese have just one title/honorific for all genders. Māori don’t use any. I prefer not to use any title, and correct others when they use Mr in front of my name. I find it incredibly frustrating when forms – especially online forms – mandate the use of a title. These days. if I cannot proceed without selecting a title, I don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I avoid trousers because of my hypersensitivity to fabric textures makes wearing them very uncomfortable and distracting. Yes one should be able to wear whatever makes one comfortable, or at least not uncomfortable, but Western culture is nowhere ready for that. I wear a thobe where I feel safe – but my one experience of wearing it alone in public was one time too many for me. I had thought New Zealand society would be more accepting, and while the majority of passers by and those I interacted with scarcely blinked an eye, some of the taunts bordered on direct threats to my personal safety. I did not feel safe at all. I take my hat off to those who face a similar situation on a daily basis, beit racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or disability. That takes real courage. I’m fortunate that my autism is not so readily observable by others so long as I avoid communication with them or restrict it to an absolute bare minimum and maintain a high level of masking (faking being “normal” which is exhausting to keep up for long). I learnt a very long time ago that to be safe I had to make myself as inconspicuous and as “invisible” as possible. Sadly even 60 years later it doesn’t seem to have changed all that much.


      1. Barry, I truly admire other countries for their much more liberal thinking. But unfortunately, I was born –and still live– in America, so its culture is pretty much inbred. Now this isn’t to say that things haven’t changed over the years. And I’m sure they will continue to do so. But it takes TIME. To expect changes to occur population-wide in the matter of a few years is misguided thinking. Just consider our African-American population. They’re STILL waiting.

        Most likely at my age, I won’t be around to see the changes that Scottie so adamantly promotes, but I’m sure they will happen. In time.


    2. Hello Nan. Okay I will criticize you. I was going to say everything Barry said but I feel he said it well. I want to discuss your calling this a gender thing. In fact it is just the opposite. Clothing has no gender, not just neutral, but simply no gender association at all. Just as gender roles are culture specific so are clothing standards. As Barry mentioned in some areas what men wear resembles a dress. Have you bothered to look up men’s clothing in India or the style worn by Arab men? When was the last time you seen a painting of Jesus in pants?

      But you are proving the point I have tried to point out about those who cannot accept the progressive social changes. You say forcing multiple letter individuals on the general public isn’t the answer. The answer to what? To allowing people to live their lives as they are, who they are, loving who they do, … just like you are doing as a cis straight person? Is it really such a problem to let others have the same rights and ability to live happily as they really are just as you have done? Sorry you’re not comfortable, try living as a gender you know you are not, try pretending to feel attraction to a sex you don’t, try marrying a person you are not sexually attracted to just to have a marriage and family, just to fit in and make the majority feel comfortable. You wouldn’t like it if the fundies said they were uncomfortable with you living a secular lifestyle and so the solution is for you to live as they do to make them comfortable. The old saying my religion doesn’t let me eat ice cream on Sundays so I require you to also not eat ice cream on Sundays, … add to that, just to make me comfortable.

      The world is not as it was even 50 years ago. It is not as it was 70 years ago. Same as 20 years ago, things are different than they were in 2000. I often complain that elected leaders in their upper ages cannot relate to modern culture, the advances in social understandings. You proved my point. Gender is what we make it. How long ago was that certain jobs were only for men? Or the reverse that only women did some jobs like nursing? What about the military where we are finding that women along with the gays and trans people can do any job just as well as men can. Culture and society constantly change. Most of the time people don’t really notice, until they hit that thing that makes them uncomfortable. Then they want society to return to where they were comfortable, and happy. That is why the fundies and the bigots want a return to the 1950s. They were comfortable, men were assumed to be in charge, religion in every aspect of society was a given (giving religious leaders freedom to tell their victims that no one will believe them if they tell what was done to them) women were relegated into their place and role in the home ruled by the man, blacks knew their place and to respect the whites which made the whites feel comfortable regardless of the discomfort of the blacks, and of course there was no public talk of the gender / sexual orientation of the degenerate perverts who lived icky lives that made the majority uncomfortable to think about. I hope you understand my point. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You offer valid arguments for what you believe. And that’s well and good. Please know that I’m NOT trying to change your outlook. I’m defending my own.

        There is one point you made that sort of stood out to me. You mentioned the attire of other cultures. Well, America has its own culture as well. And just as those other cultures have their preferences (laws, in some countries!), so do people in this country. Yes, perhaps it’s “old-fashioned” to prefer seeing individuals in what is considered “gender-accepted” attire, but this is still the “culture” in America. No doubt the constant banging of the gongs will eventually remedy this for multiple-letter individuals. But it’s going to take time and understanding and education rather than a hostile take-over.


  2. What people wear is not a thing about which I care, other than professional attire in professional situations. I stopped wearing skirt suits for pants when I was 35, and I saw a woman senator walk out to make a statement in the US Senate chambers. I don’t recall who. All I know is, I function better, and feel more comfortable and secure, wearing pants. Don’t get me started on pantyhose and heels. Bless anyone who wants to wear those-I enjoyed some heels when I was in my 20s, myself. But they’re just awful. Anyway, I feel I’d be far more comfortable seeing a man in a skirt, if I noticed it, than I would seeing a woman having to wear something that is too body-concious. I feel suits and closed toe shoes are appropriate in a courtroom, as an example. Every professional can do that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Who really gripes me in regard to inappropriate professional clothing is Rep. MT Greene, as an example. Dressing as she has on the floor of our House is disrespectful to every one of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Ali. I understand. And for some places ceremonies it is important to dress according to custom as best one can. For example going to a wedding it shows respect to dress up. Or if you go to an event honoring a cultural mode of dress where everyone wears the cultural attire to honor the occasion. However I remember a time when I was a kid and invited to go to church. I did not want to go because I did not own a suit or even nice dress clothing. But the family that invited me explained that all I needed was what I had. So I sat with that family wearing my best jeans and pullover shirt and freshly washed sneakers while they were all dressed in suits and dressed up clothing. Funny thing no one seemed to even notice how differently I was dressed. That is the way I feel it should be.

        I don’t blame any woman for not wanting to wear what would make them feel uncomfortable or even vulnerable. Sadly in the world women especially are vulnerable to assault / rape and pants make that harder than wearing a skirt would. As for pantyhose I wonder if they were made to keep women from doing things as they seem so easy to harm / rip. On that subject I wonder why all the extra requirements for dress fall on women while men seem to be accepted in easy comfortable clothing. Seems really sexist to me. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Hello All. In the topic of dress I found this. At first I wondered if it was acceptable not because of gender but because of how much of the butt it shows. Then I remembered speedos and bikinis. Personally I am not offended by the human body and in my old job I seen all shapes sizes and all the parts. But I understand many people have been culturally indoctrinated in the US to feel that seeing the genitalia is somehow horrible and evil / wrong. Like seeing a woman’s breasts / chest is wrong yet seeing a man’s chest / breasts is okay? WTF? But the clothing I am about to show you covers the anus and the genital, and the man says it is really comfortable. Besides, it was shown on a national TV show. I have cued the video to just before the part where the man shows his traditional clothing, but if you want to hear the full interview just start at the beginning, I did and found it interesting. Hugs


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