This year, we’ve seen a few airlines up their game for the benefit of gender equality. Air Canda is the latest airline to join in. It has asked all its staff to make gender-neutral announcements.
What is Air Canada changing?
The news was first obtained by La Presse, who reported that an email had been sent to all employees informing them that they can no longer greet passengers in the usual binary way.
Instead of greeting a collective as ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’, the crew will now need to use more inclusive vocabulary to welcome their passengers. Some of those options will include greetings like: ‘Good afternoon, everyone’ and the same equivalent in French.
According to La Presse, Air Canada said the following in the email it sent to its employees:
“We want to ensure an inclusive space for everyone, including those who identify with gender X…The change will be reflected in the transmission of the Onboard Announcement Manual as part of our commitment to respect gender identity, diversity and inclusion.”
The change is not thought to have been officially implemented yet.
Cultural policy changes
This isn’t the first instance we’ve seen where airlines are making changes to their gender regulations.
This year, Air Italy and a select number of US airlines also changed their policies to provide non-binary gender options on their flights. This means passengers can select gender X when booking flights to specify that they are neither male nor female.
Whilst Air Canada is essentially only asking its staff to pick more appropriate vocabulary, the change is massive for those who it affects. Air Canada employees seemed to be in favor of the airline’s new policy. One staff member said:
“[The new policy] is not an obstacle. It’s easy to apply…”
But others said that there would be a bit of adjustment time required for staff who were used to the binary gender announcements.
Although Air Canada staff seem happy with the change, others took to social media to express their concerns over the airline’s political correctness. But in times like these, we can expect a little resistance when policy changes.
Women in aviation is still a topic that makes the news and non-binary gender issues are the next to hit the industry. In light of large international airlines making cultural changes, we’re sure that there will be many airlines that follow suit.
What is Gender X?
Gender X refers to the selection chosen for those whose gender is neither male or female. In Canada, it is now legal for citizens to change their gender on their passports to accommodate those who do not feel they fit within the gender binary. X is an option that they can now choose to display on their passports and identification documents.
How do you feel about Air Canada’s gender-neutral announcements? Let us know!