Norwegian Air criticized for dress code

Women employees must wear high heels or have doctor’s note

Norwegian Air dress code

Photo: Doug Peters/PA Wire
Norwegian Air has been criticized for its “Mad Men” dress code for its female flight attendants. Pictured above is Norwegian Air Shuttle’s celebration of the launch of its nonstop London Gatwick to Las Vegas flights in 2016.

The Local

Norway’s biggest airline has been slammed for its sexist “Mad Men” approach to company dress code, effectively forcing its female staff members to wear heels.

Low-cost airline Norwegian Air has told its female staff that they must carry a doctor’s note at all times to wear flat shoes.

The controversial clause is found in the company’s new 22-page dress code, which states that women must wear at least 2-centimeter (3/4-inch) heels while at work.

Those who decide to get the doctor’s note will have to renew it every six months.

“It is almost comical that we face these issues in 2019,” Ingrid Hødnebø, a women’s spokesperson for the country’s Socialist Left Party, told Norwegian newspapers.

“While the rest of society has moved further, Norwegian sits firmly in the ‘Mad Men’ universe from the ’50s and ’60s.”

Another eye-catching clause in Norwegian’s new company regulations is that male employees are not allowed to wear makeup, with the exception of concealer to hide acne or bruises. Their hair can’t be any longer than shoulder length and they can’t wear earrings.

Female employees, on the other hand, are expected to use eye makeup, light foundation, and tinted moisturizers or powders.

Their jewelry is also under strict scrutiny: they can only wear two rings on each hand but none on their thumbs, and the only color choices allowed are gold or silver.

Norwegian argue that its uniform regulations are not too different from other airlines and that their aim was to offer more specific information for their staff to avoid confusion.

“Norwegian’s crew must follow the company’s uniform policy,” company spokesperson Astrid Mannion-Gibson told Norwegian news outlet VG.

“The uniform is neutral and discreet and yes, it does place different requirements on men and women when it comes to makeup, hair, and so on. This is common among other airlines too.”

This article was originally published on The Local.

This article originally appeared in the May 3, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.