British Airways has had a long standing rule that said that their female crew members had to wear skirts while working as opposed to pants like the men are accustomed to wearing.
Naturally this started to draw some criticism since men and women being subjected to different rules is generally considered sexism and illegal. It has taken a two year battle for the dress code to be changed, but now it officially has.
It wasn’t just the women who felt like a change was in order either. Apparently 83 percent of the crew union Unite felt like the change was overdue. The rule has been in place since 2012 and only applied to new recruits that were coming into the company, not employees who had already been established.
Some people had been granted the option to wear pants if they had a medical or religious reason why the outfit didn’t work for them.
The change in dress code towards allowing women to wear pants is important both for comfort but also for safety.
In the words of Matt Smith, a regional officer from the union:
“Not only is the choice to wear trousers a victory for equality it is also a victory for common sense and testament to the organizing campaign of our members. Female cabin crew no longer have to shiver in the cold, wet and snow of wintery climates, but also can be afforded the protection of trousers at destinations where there is a risk of malaria or the Zika virus.”
When you put it that way it sounds even crazier that women were not given the option to wear pants before.
British Airways is the largest airline carrier in the United Kingdom based on fleet size, and the second largest behind EasyJet based on the number of passengers they serve. Its main hub is at the London Heathrow airport.
The company was initially established in 1972 to merge four existing airline companies by 1974. Over the years it expanded even more by taking over even more airline companies.