For the first time since Cathay Pacific went into business 72 years ago, the Hong Kong airline will allow its female flight attendants to wear trousers.
According to BBC, flight attendants first requested a revamping of their workwear in 2014, citing that they were too revealing and may provoke sexual harassment. The change comes after considerable pressure from its female flight attendants and their unions, reports the South China Morning Post. Complaints from flight attendants included that the length of the skirts make it difficult to complete job tasks such as stowing luggage in overhead compartments. Pauline Mak, vice chair of the Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association, told the outlet that the uniform policy change "not only provides us one more option, but also provides us with protection.”
Cathay Pacific is one of many airlines receiving complaints about restrictive flight attendant uniforms. Many complaints center around skirts as a requirement as well as having to wear heels on long haul flights.
Since its founding in 1946, Cathay Pacific has maintained a strict, skirts-only requirement for its female flight attendants.
The uniform change won’t come right away. The update will happen when Cathay Pacific refreshes staff uniforms which, according to unions, could take up to three years. Currently, the airlines uniform for female flight attendants consists of white logo blouses, red skirts with two slits, sheer black stockings, and black high heels. A red jacket is optional, reports The Independent.
"There is no progress without change," the airline told Business Insider in a statement. "Now is the time to make this happen by working together to review the uniforms that accurately reflect the values we represent,” Cathay Pacific said to Business Insider.
A spokesperson for the airline released a statement yesterday saying, “Just as we recognize it is important to provide our customers with more choice, the same is also true for our colleagues.”
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