A flight attendant pants fight is being battled over between Asiana Airlines and the flight attendants’ labor union in South Korea.
A 10 page set of guidelines for female flight attendants specifies a skirt-only dress code while men have only 2 pages of guidelines, along with the permission to wear pants. Since 2012, the flight attendants’ labor union has been working with South Korea’s human rights commission to make changes to Asian Airline’s appearance guidelines.
The rules currently state that women cannot wear trousers and are limited to skirts of a certain length. Asiana Airlines recently agreed to consider changing that rule in the next uniform redesign, although it didn’t specify when that would happen.
“They argue this shows clear discrimination, and that women flight attendants should be allowed to wear pants and have a more flexible set of guidelines. Others, however, have suggested the difference in the two rule books simply reflects the more diverse range of dress wear women have available to them in formal clothes than their male counterparts.”
Union head Kweon Soo-joung told Time that they are pleased that Asiana Airlines is considering changing their uniforms:
“I hope the decision would help change similar discriminatory rules that govern how women in service industries, such as hotels, dress and do their hair and makeup.”
Asiana Airlines has already loosened its standards for female flight attendants. Women are now allowed to wear glasses, although restrictions still apply to makeup and hair styles.
Do you think the flight attendant pants fight is about discrimination against women? Or do you think that employers should be allowed to specify exactly how their employees dress for work?