All Nippon Airways Co. has eased its company dress code that mandated female cabin attendants and ground staff wear high heels, the company has said.
The change, which comes amid a movement against requiring women to wear such shoes in the workplace, took effect May 1 and includes its group companies. It follows a similar move by Japan Airlines Co., which revised its regulations and allowed the wearing of shoes with no heels from April.
ANA, however, said female staff must still wear pumps that are made of plain, black leather and do not cover the instep, as the style goes well with the uniform. Walking and ballet shoes remain banned.
The airlines is now asking that heels have a height of around 5 centimeters or below and a width of 3 cm or more. It had previously required heels to have a height and width of between 3 cm and 5 cm.
"We've thought about creating a healthy and better working environment," the company said, adding, the new rules take into consideration how workers can walk stably and reduce strain on their toes and waist.
JAL's new regulations, meanwhile, stipulate that the height of heels be between zero and 4 cm. Walking shoes, among others, are also allowed.
Since last year, more women have been speaking out against company dress codes, most notably expressed by the #KuToo movement — an amalgam of "#MeToo," and the Japanese words for shoes, kutsu, and pain, kutsuu.