Air Vistara Apologises After Sexist Automated Message on the Company Website Goes Viral
Air Vistara faced severe backlash when a female passenger complained of gender bias on their website. Twitter user Shyama Rath was apparently filling a form on the company's website where she was asked to fill in her professional and personal details.
However, the form would not let her select "professor" as an option after she had selected her gender as female. The message displayed on the screen said that that title was not available for the female gender.
Wait, what? Is this the fifteenth century?
Rath took to Twitter to express her fury and captioned it, "Common, #Air_Vistara."
Air Vistara, however, quickly responded to the matter and apologized for the discrimination. They also assured Rath that they would be looking into the matter.
Dear Ms. Rath. Thank you for pointing this out. This certainly is not done correctly, we will have it fixed. Apologies for this, we are embarrassed to see this, Vishal.— Vistara (@airvistara) July 25, 2019
Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of Vistara, Sanjiv Kapoor, also replied to Rath and said that he was mortified to see something like this.
Shyama, I am mortified to see this. Apologies, and thanks for pointing 5his out. We will have it fixed!— Sanjiv Kapoor (@TheSanjivKapoor) July 25, 2019
However, turns out, this was a glitch in the code or in the system which did not allow people to choose "professor" irrespective of the gender. A user pointed out that it did not work for the male gender either.
Nevertheless, others weren't too forgiving anyway. Some also highlighted the lack of a "third gender" in the options that had been provided.
The developer is dead today. 😂— Dheeraj Menon (@dheeru8menon) July 25, 2019
Please also be mortified for restricting gender to binaries, thereby excluding those who do not identify with either of the two genders. @FeminismInIndia— Shijoy Varughese (@shijoyvarughese) July 25, 2019
Their software tester will get earful today. 😀— Jai Shri Ram (@JaiShriRam2002) July 25, 2019
Somewhere, a coder is shutting bricks right now.— Aurindam (@Aurgho_) July 25, 2019
Even I'm a prof. Love vistara. Mind telling me what this is about?— Professor TeeKay (@TeeKay2902) July 25, 2019
Kapoor later replied saying that the glitch has been fixed:
This has been fixed. Apologies again for the embarrassing glitch, we are taking measures to ensure no such recurrence. Thank you again for bringing it to our attention.— Sanjiv Kapoor (@TheSanjivKapoor) July 25, 2019