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Engineering media increases use of hard hat photos

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Imagery stops graduates from choosing engineering careers, according to SMF


Photographs featuring hard hats are increasingly being used to illustrate engineers by the media and advertisers, according to research from Sainsbury Management Fellows.

SMF's 2015 Hard Hat Index recorded a total of 257 hard hat images depicting engineers in advertising and articles in selected engineering media, a 12% increase on a year earlier.

Looking solely at articles in the trade media, the 2015 index recorded 150 hard hat images, a 4.9% increase on 2014.

The study revealed that there has been a 24% year-on-year increase in hard hats in advertising.

SMF president David Falzani said: “Engineers change every aspect of our lives, from medicine to social media. Yet, the hard hat construction image has become synonymous with engineering jobs, limiting the perception of a diverse profession. This has a real impact on young people choosing not to go into engineering and employers’ ability to recruit engineering graduates who don’t relate to hard hat images.

“We will continue to highlight the damage of using hard hats to brand engineers in order to raise awareness and bring about a culture change,” Falzani added.  

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