Virgin Atlantic has made the announcement that it will not be featuring its famous flying lady emblem on their new aircraft, according to ITV. Instead, this image will be replaced by a diverse range of men and women “representing modern Britain”.
The TV station further quoted the airline as saying it will be replacing its traditional image on the new A350-1000 fleet. Among those who will now be wearing the iconic red leotard in the new artwork will be a black woman, a black man, as well as a gay man. This will also make Virgin Atlantic the first airline to have male figureheads on its aircraft.
The announcement arrives a month after it was revealed that the airline has stopped forcing female cabin crew to have to wear makeup, and now also provides them with trousers as part of their standard uniform, rather than only if requested.
In addition, Virgin Atlantic has pledged to tackle its gender pay gap and increase diversity and inclusion.
ITV has revealed that the company is aiming to have a 50/50 gender split in leadership roles, as well as “12% black, Asian and minority ethnic group representation across the company, by 2022”.
Says Nikki Humphrey, senior vice president of people at Virgin Atlantic: “The saying goes ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and that has never been truer than the aviation industry’s glamorous image in the past.
We have been working for a number of years to tackle our gender pay gap, create an inclusive workplace and increase the diversity of our workforce, through the development of our springboard scheme for women, as well as the launch of engineering apprenticeships.
By introducing our new flying icons I hope it encourages people from all backgrounds to feel at home flying with us but also working with us.”