In a press release, the Seattle-based carrier says they have updated their uniform guidelines “to provide more freedom and flexibility in individual and gender expression,” and will be rolling out gender-neutral items in the future.
New Guidelines Allows Piercings, Makeup, Tattoos and Pronoun Pins
Under the new rules, employees will be given more latitude to express themselves in their identity. This includes adjusting uniform kit names to “focus on fit vs. gender identifications,” alongside several new options for workers of all gender identities. The changes affect all customer-facing staff, including flight attendants, customer service agents and uniformed lounge employees.
Among the guidelines are allowances for tattoos in more locations and more hair styling options. Employees can also wear fingernail polish, makeup, have up to two piercings per ear and a single stud nose piercing.
To help employees with their identity, the carrier will also distribute pins with their preferred pronouns to be worn on uniforms. The current options are “He/Him,” “She/Her,” and “They/Them.”
Later this year, gender-neutral uniform items will be added to the uniform offerings. The company is working with Seattle designer Luly Yang to create and offer the new pieces for workers.
“I know firsthand what it feels like not to be seen, heard or able to bring your authentic self to work. When I’ve experienced this, it didn’t feel great and honestly made it hard to come to work every day during those times, or to deliver my best work,” James Thomas, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Alaska, said in a press release. “Our employees, guests and communities we serve have my commitment we are going to keep listening and pushing ourselves to be better.”
The policy change comes nine months after the American Civil Liberties Union petitioned the carrier to change their uniform standards on behalf of Justin Wetherell, a flight attendant working out of Seattle. The letter accused Alaska Airlines of running afoul of Washington State Law’s discrimination laws. According to the ACLU, the state prohibits all inequities “based on gender identity, appearance, behavior, or expression and violates state and federal prohibitions against sex discrimination.”
Alaska Airlines also said they would work towards allowing passengers to choose personal pronouns when booking flights by the end of the year. The carrier first announced the efforts to make the change at the end of 2019.
Announcement Positive Point in Difficult Year for Carrier
The move to allow employees more self-expression comes after Alaska suffered a number of setbacks to start the year. In addition to cancelling part of their schedule and in-flight service options in January 2022, the carrier announced they may cut 5% of their second quarter flights based on oil prices.
Feature image courtesy: Alaska Airlines
Source: frugal travel guy