Qantas Introduces Female Pilot Uniforms
If the lure of adventure and faraway places isn't enough to attract women to the cockpit, at least one airline is hoping that appealing to their fashion sense will. Qantas Airlines has introduced its newly designed pilot uniforms and for the first time there are designs specifically tailored for women. Oh, they still have to wear ties (they're female-only ties, though) and military-style hats, but the new uniforms are a big improvement over the truncated men's wear that have hung in female pilots' closets for decades. "It is a really big change," A330 Capt. Debbie Slade told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Especially for the females, it has got a little bit of shape and it is made to fit girls rather than girls wearing a boy's uniform."
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the female uniforms were specifically created as part of the airline's attempt to bring more diversity to the cockpit. "It was also extremely important for us was that we had a female-designed uniform," Joyce told the Herald. "I hope one day we get to 50 percent of our pilots being female so we will have a lot more of them. We are still waiting on that but I think it is a great start." The new uniforms are lighter in weight, more tailored and have a "streamlined cut," according to the newspaper. The biggest change is the hat, however. Qantas has gone to a white navy style topper that's a nod to its heritage. "The hat is what makes a pilot so recognizable," said fashion designer Martin Grant. "I wanted to go back to the essence of the naval uniform and bring back the white top."