Airline's Female Crew Don't Have to Wear Skirts Anymore

Pants-based victory for Cathay Pacific's female flight attendants
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2018 1:34 PM CDT
In this March 8, 2011 photo, a Cathay Pacific Airways plane takes off at Hong Kong Airport in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

(Newser) – No longer able to skirt the issue, one of Asia's largest airlines will allow its female flight attendants to wear pants, the Guardian reports. According to the BBC, female flight attendants for Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific had been required to wear short skirts since the airline's founding in 1946. Flight attendant unions requested changes to the uniform in 2014, arguing that the short skirts could lead to sexual harassment, and reiterated their request this month. “There’s sexual harassment, not only in the workplace but even in public transport, people trying to take pictures under their skirts,” the Guardian quotes the vice-chair of the Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association as saying.

Negotiations between the unions and Cathay Pacific ended Thursday. The uniform rule changes will apply to flight attendants and other uniformed staff for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. “The stereotype of the flight attendant is very old-style already: looking pretty, full make-up, and wearing a skirt," the chairwoman of the Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union tells the South China Morning Post. "It is a good time to have a revamp of our image." But the unions say the changes won't actually go into effect until Cathay next updates its uniforms, which could take three years. "Just as we recognize it is important to provide our customers with more choice, the same is also true for our colleagues," a Cathay spokesperson says.

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