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1,181 hard hats published in five years

The Sainsbury Management Fellows Hard Hat Index shows a 19.6% tumble in the use of hard hats as the symbol of engineers in engineering articles - the first fall in four years.

Hard Hats dominate the image of engineers says the SMF Hard Hat Index which has tracked such images in 17 engineering magazines for five years. In that time 1,181 images of hard-hatted engineers have appeared in advertisements and articles. Images that SMF believes damages the image of engineering by reinforcing stereotypes and giving a very narrow view of the profession.

In the Index’s launch year (2013), there were just 67 hard hats in articles in the monitored publications, but this figure climbed every year until now. The 2017 Hat Index recorded 127 hard hats in engineering articles compared to 158 last year. After years of seeing the figures yo-yo infinitesimally, there is a breakthrough as engineering magazines have started to use more imaginative visuals to communicate...

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