TUI Airways in sexism row after Welsh government official slams airline staff for giving stickers to boys that say ‘future captain’ while handing girls ones that read ‘future cabin crew’
- Dame Gillian Morgan saw stewardesses giving out stickers on flight to Paphos
- But she claimed boys all got ‘Future Pilot’ and girls all had ‘Future Cabin Crew’
- She is sure that the stickers were deliberately split by gender in ‘sexist’ move
- TUI apologised for upset but said stickers are given out regardless of gender
Dame Gillian Morgan saw stewardesses handing out stickers to children on a flight
A former top Welsh government official has accused TUI Airways of giving children ‘sexist’ stickers that allegedly encourage gender stereotypes.
Dame Gillian Morgan, 65, who now chairs trade group NHS Providers, saw stewardesses giving the children stickers on a flight from Bristol to Paphos.
But when she went through passport control in Cyprus she claimed to have found all the boys had been given stickers with ‘Future Pilot’, and the girls’ all said ‘Future Cabin Crew’.
Dame Gillian, of Seaton, Devon, who had been travelling with her great-niece and great-nephew said she was sure that the stickers were deliberately split by gender and called the move ‘deeply sexist’.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘The stickers were gender neutral but it’s the way that they were handed out that makes it complicated.
Dame Gillian claimed to have found all the boys on the flight had been given stickers with ‘Future Pilot’ (left), and the girls’ all said ‘Future Cabin Crews’ (right)
‘It happens implicitly all the time. The boys can have the Lego, the space rocket going to the moon, and the girls can have a little pony.
‘We desperately need more women to do science, maths and engineering but little things like this take us backwards by providing restricting roles.’
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Dame Gillian added: ‘In 30 years’ time it might be likely that the majority of pilots will still be men but we should not be turning off the girls who are going to be the ones to walk on Mars.’
Other TUI passengers have also complained about the stickers, with Linzi Walker tweeting last month: ‘Lovely touch by TUI flying out to Corfu Friday by giving children TUI stickers and activity sheet.
‘Not so lovely that all the boys were given ‘future pilot’ stickers and the girls ‘future cabin crew’?! Sexist much?’
TUI said that crew members hand out the stickers to boys and girls regardless of their gender
And Twitter user @St_Pirran wrote in May: ‘@TUI your cabin crew today chose ‘future tui cabin crew’ stickers for the girls and ‘future pilot’ for the boys, no female pilots then?’
TUI apologised for any upset caused to passengers, but insisted that crew members hand out the stickers to boys and girls regardless of their gender.
A spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We’re sorry to hear a small number of customers have been upset by this.
‘We think it has just been a simple mix-up since our future pilot and cabin crew stickers are designed for use for any child regardless of gender.
Dame Gillian and a number of other TUI passengers have tweeted about the ‘sexist’ stickers
‘The stickers are part of our activity packs which are intended to be used by crew to interact, engage with and create special moments for our customers on their holiday.
‘The feedback we’ve had so far this summer has been overwhelmingly positive.
‘Children fall in love with flying when they go on their holidays with us and we want to encourage their dreams of becoming future pilots and crew members.’
Dame Gillian, who was once permanent secretary to the Welsh government, was the most senior civil servant in Wales for four years before she retired in 2002.
TUI is a Luton-based package holiday giant which was formerly known as Thomson.
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