Virgin Atlantic will no longer require its female flight attendants to wear makeup, the airline confirms to PEOPLE.
Billionaire Richard Branson‘s airline announced that they would be scratching their mandatory makeup policy in an effort to equalize the gender requirements between their male and female crew members.
According to Virgin Atlantic’s Executive Vice President of Customer Mark Anderson, flight attendants are still “welcome” to wear any of the airline’s “existing palette of makeup” such as foundation and lipstick that’s allowed under Virgin Atlantic’s guidelines, should they choose to.
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“Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work,” Anderson says. “Helping people to be themselves is core to our desire to be the most loved travel company.”
Along with getting rid of the makeup rules, the airline said they would also be changing their uniform requirements for women on staff. In the past, female crew members were issued red skirts and had to request pants separately if they wanted to wear them. Now, they will be given pants when they’re hired without having to ask for them.
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“Our world-famous red uniform is something all of us at Virgin Atlantic are incredibly proud of,” Anderson told PEOPLE. “As an airline, we have always stood out from the crowd and done things differently to the rest of the industry. We want our uniform to truly reflect who we are as individuals while maintaining that famous Virgin Atlantic style.”
Anderson says that the guideline changes were made after receiving feedback from their employees.
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However, Virgin isn’t the first airline to make a shift in their uniform guidelines for female flight attendants and cabin crew. The BBC reports that British Airways stopped requiring women to wear dresses and skirts and began allowing pants in 2016, but the airline still has makeup as a requirement.
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