Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Airlines have rules. Upon rules. Upon rules.

Some might even make sense. 

Others belong to times when men (thought they) were men and women were treated even less equally than they are today.

I suppose, therefore, that one should offer a tiny hosanna to Cathay Pacific from dragging itself out of the mid-20th century.

It's just decreed that its female Flight Attendants will no longer have to wear skirts. 

As the South China Morning Post has it, the employees' union has been battling to achieve this for some time.

Which might lead some to wonder why it took so long.

After all, the rule's been in place since 1946.

You might imagine that, as the 20th century drew to a close, quite a few female Flight Attendants suggested that wearing a short skirt to work was not only uncomfortable and blatantly sexist, but a little passé.

Moreover, it's not as if sexual harassment is unheard of on planes. You'd think that this decision might have been taken sooner. 

After all, the request for the change was made in, wait for it, 2014.

I asked Cathay why it had taken so long.

An airline spokesperson told me that the company is "progressive and contemporary in every way."

"There is no progress without change," they continued. "Now is the time to make this happen by working together to review the uniforms that accurately reflect the values we represent."

Some might mutter that Cathay's values have been a little different until now. Could, for example, the #Metoo Movement have influenced its updating of its values?

The airline, though, feels this decision reflects its acknowledgement that "choice for our people is as important as for our passengers."

Still, these things never come without turbulence.

Cathay's female Flight Attendants can't immediately buy themselves a pair of red trousers and finally feel comfortable at work.

Instead, they have to wait for the next uniform refresh to get their pants.

Which could be another three years.

The decision won't just affect Flight Attendants, however. Other employees such and check-in and gate agents will also have the option.

Many airline employees have been fighting for such changes over the years.

Cathay isn't even remotely the last airline to succumb.

Hong Kong Airlines, for example, told the South China Morning Post that its skirts policy reflects its "young and energetic brand."

Of course it does.

Published on: Mar 30, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.