American Airlines unveils plan to improve diversity

American Airlines announced an aggressive plan to improve diversity after they were accused of racial and religious segregation.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- American Airlines has announced an aggressive plan of action to improve diversity and inclusion within the company.

It’s been a bumpy ride for American Airlines. Accusations of racial and religious discrimination have taken off against the world’s largest airline. 

“We’re seeing individuals removed because they’re wearing a headscarf,” said NAACP Legal Defense Fund Senior Counsel Ajmel Quereshi.

Quereshi said they’ve seen a spike in reports over the last two years. And in October, the NAACP issued a travel ban for passengers of color.

Thursday, the airline announced a plan of action to make American a more diverse and inclusive company:

  • Bring in a firm to conduct a 9-month long review of current practices and policies.
  • Implement an annual implicit bias training for its 120,000 employees. 
  • Create a new customer service team to specialize in discrimination complaints.
  • And improve internal oversight of employee discrimination claims.

“The implicit bias training along with improved procedures that govern when a person is and is not removed we can prevent these incidents from happening in the first place,” Quereshi explained. 

He said it’s important because the training will help employees let go of biases they don’t even realize they have.

But some passengers are not buying into this latest call to action.

“I think training should start and be implemented from the infancy of orientation," said one person.

“No I’m not really impressed,” another said. 

NAACP reps said they have a right to be skeptical, but they add this is a major step in the right direction. 

“It’s not just about responding to incidents after they happen it's about preventing these incidents from happening in the first place,” Quereshi said. 

These commitments are set to go into effect at the beginning of next year.

There are still some questions yet to be answered, such as: What are the concepts taught in training? Who will be leading these sessions? And will it be effective?

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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