Male pilots and cabin crew at British Airways will finally be allowed to wear makeup and piercings for the first time.

It comes after the company updated its uniform policy which now encourages staff to “be bold, be proud, be yourself” at work.

A memo to staff also stated that it hopes the changes will be “embraced by everyone regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, background, culture, sexual identity, or otherwise”.

The new rules mean that all cabin crew members will be able to wear mascara, false eyelashes and earrings from Monday 14 November, regardless of how they identify.

“Subtle shades” are encouraged by British Airways as a “natural look” remains preferred, with “man buns” also permitted.

Nail polish will also be allowed, though black and neon colours are still forbidden.

“We are proud of all of our colleagues at British Airways and we are committed to an inclusive working environment,” the airline said in a statement.

“We have worked with our people to create updated guidelines for grooming, beauty and accessories, allowing our colleagues to bring the best, most authentic version of themselves to work every day.”

Its policy on gender-specific uniforms has not changed, meaning it remains behind its rival Virgin Atlantic which recently gave staff the choice of wearing whichever uniform they prefer.