As Cabin Crew, why do I need to know about Diversity?

Diversity is a key part of our society, and a candidate knowing exactly what diversity involves is becoming more and more important for airlines.

Basically, diversity means a variety, or mixture. So, in society this applies to the wide range of people and groups we have in today’s world. This can include differences in:

  • Culture
  • Gender
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Age
  • Situation

Understanding diversity not only means recognising all of these differences, it also means having respect and open mind towards them.

And when you’re working with a variety of colleagues and members of the public on a daily basis you can never be sure which unique person or situation you might have to deal with!

How does this affect me as Cabin Crew?

Working as cabin crew you will be flying to destinations worldwide and will encounter a range of cultures and traditions.

It’s very important that you respect these, just as you’d expect a visitor to your home country to respect your own traditions.

You’ll also be working with crew from around the globe, and cultural differences may mean that things might be said or done by them a little differently than you’re used to.

This is why it’s so important to have a positive and open-minded attitude, and to sometimes try to see things from a different point of view.

You’ll also encounter passengers from all kinds of backgrounds, and passengers who may have mental or physical disabilities.

You may have to approach things in a slightly different way from passenger to passenger, while still remaining professional, helpful and polite.

It’s of the utmost of importance that you always treat passengers and fellow colleagues or crew members with good manners and respect – with the same level of service that you yourself would expect in their position!

What can I do to promote diversity?

As cabin crew representing your airline you can:

  • Know your airline’s diversity policy and adhere to it at all times
  • Learn about different cultures and traditions – maybe research the locations you’re flying to – this could be interesting and fun!
  • Ask your co-workers from other countries and backgrounds about themselves! They may be happy you have asked and you might be surprised by what you learn.
  • If you make a mistake which leads to a misunderstanding, keep calm, apologise and explain what led to the unintentional mistake.
  • Welcome ideas that are different from your own and try to see things from a fresh perspective.
  • Treat all your passengers with the same level of politeness and professionalism – don’t judge people based on stereotypes!
  • Be patient when there are times when people find things difficult to follow, perhaps because of disability, advanced age or a language barrier.

Diversity Interview Questions

Questions on your own attitude towards diversity are becoming more and more common in the final interview.

It’s a good idea to think about cabin crew specific diversity issues when planning your answer, and to emphasise your positive attitude towards upholding the airline’s diversity policy.

Questions in this area which have came up in recent interviews include:

  • What are your opinions on Diversity?
  • Tell us about a time you had to deal with a cultural misunderstanding.
  • Describe a time when you had to deal with diversity in the workplace.

We live in a wonderfully varied and multicultural society, and all kinds of attitudes exist towards this, both positive and negative.

However it is the basic right of every individual to be treated with dignity and respect.

As cabin crew you will encounter diversity daily and in all aspects of the job, and when airlines are screening candidates an understanding of what diversity is and a positive attitude to this is an absolute must!

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Hannah is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist specialising in recruitment, selection and assessment. This means she designs and assesses at selection days just like the ones airlines use.

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