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Monday, October 25, 2021

British Airways to drop ‘ladies and gentlemen’ announcements in drive to promote ‘diversity’

Other large firms have gone further to promote diversity. For instance, Accenture, one of the Government’s top management consultants, has referred to staff as “allies” rather than colleagues to promote a more inclusive organisation.  

Whether customers value so-called “woke” messaging, remains a matter of debate. Research published this summer on ways businesses could be “good corporate citizens” found that only 9pc of respondents thought the most important was to “speak out on important social issues that matter in Britain today”.

British advertising veteran Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder of WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, said that things like traditional greetings were now less of a priority for airline customers.  

“Whether that’s fortunate or unfortunate, it’s a sign of the times,” he said. “The important thing is not the announcements, it’s the food, the Wi-Fi, the service, the speed of getting on the plane and getting off the plane.”

A spokesman for British Airways said: “We celebrate diversity and inclusion and we’re committed to ensuring that all our customers feel welcome when travelling with us.”  

The policy change comes with BA hopeful that the Government’s recent relaxation of travel restrictions will deliver a boost to its operations, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

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