American Airlines employees will now have to undergo anti-racism training
Starting in 2018, everyone at the company will need to complete annual implicit bias training, the company announced Thursday.
“We are proud of the diversity and inclusion initiatives already in place at American, but we know we can do even better. So we viewed the feedback as an opportunity,” CEO Doug Parker said in a letter to staff.
The training program’s curriculum is still being developed, and will be conducted both in-person and through an online module, according to a company spokeswoman.
Parker said that airline executives met with NAACP leaders earlier Thursday.
In October, the NAACP issued a warning to black fliers, urging them to be careful when flying American Airlines.
The organization said it had noticed “a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines,” citing four examples of black fliers who were forced to give up their seats or were removed from flights.
The NAACP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Thursday’s changes adequately addressed the group’s concerns.
In addition to the implicit bias training, American is bringing in an independent firm to review its hiring practices, and has pledged to overhaul its system for managing discrimination complaints.
“American Airlines can set a new standard in corporate diversity and inclusion, and we are humbled by the opportunity before us to do so,” Parker said.