Now here’s a job ad you don’t come across every day.
GoAir, a low-cost domestic airline based in Mumbai, India, is looking to hire employees for a number of positions, including cabin crew and in-flight managers. As with any organization, the company is seeking qualified candidates and highlights the mandatory job requirements on its public Facebook page.
While a few of the demands are standard (e.g., Minimum Age: 19 years; Communication: Excellent communication skills with fluency in English & Hindi), the majority of the prerequisites are, well, quite astounding. For example, to quote the Facebook job posting:
- NOTE: ONLY FEMALES
- Height: Minimum: 157cms (Female) (about 5 feet 2 inches)
- Weight: In proportion to height (BMI)
- Skin: Clear Complexion without any blemishes or acne
- Eyesight: Clear and normal vision
And there’s also a dress code on the day of the interview:
- Western Formals (knee length business skirts, SHORT SLEEVED - shirt/ blouse)
- Candidates with hair below shoulder length are required to do a high ponytail
This isn’t the first time the airline has made some eyebrow-raising requests for its potential employees. Back in 2013, India Today Online reported on the “reverse gender discrimination” being enforced by GoAir, which banned men from all flight attendant positions and instilled a thin-women-only policy, reputedly in order to decrease costs (extra weight equals extra fuel) and increase profits.
Even civil rights attorney Gloria Allred couldn’t take on this controversial decision, since the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India issued specific guidelines for the body mass index (BMI) for cabin crew members in 2014. According to the Indian Express, the DGCA stated the following in its notification:
“A cabin crew who is found to be overweight shall be given three months time to reduce weight to acceptable levels, failing which the crew would be declared ‘temporary unfit’ for duties for a period of six months.”
However, one of GoAir’s competitors is fighting against the governing body’s discriminatory practice. In May 2016, the Telegraph reported that Air India (which covers 36 international destinations and 54 domestic destinations) has been opposed to terminating 130 of its employees due to the DGCA’s regulations.
“We realized later that the BMI standards laid down by the DGCA were very strict and unrealistic, particularly in the Indian context, where women tend to put on weight during middle age,” an official in the airline’s human resources department told the publication. “We subsequently sent a letter to the DGCA in October last year asking for relaxation in norms for those 130 flight attendants, since they are senior staffers and will be able to handle international flights better than the younger lot.“
And a member of the All India Cabin Crew Association told the Telegraph that the guidelines implemented by the DGCA are “ridiculous and unacceptable.”
As for the job opening at GoAir — apply at your own risk.