December 21, 2023

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Engineer designs first PPE headscarf

Aminah Shafiq hopes the product will encourage more Muslim women to take up a career in engineering.

Aminah wearing the headscarf                      CREDIT: Severn Trent

“Your choice of clothing shouldn’t be a barrier to the career you want,” says Aminah Shafiq who has designed the first PPE Hijab.

The water quality scientist at water supply company, Severn Trent, identified a gap in the company’s PPE catalogue, having experienced difficulties while trying to work on-site.

“For me, it was the issue of having to excuse myself to adjust my headscarf if it was a little uncomfortable under PPE jackets, or my hard hat not fitting properly or having lots of material to think about where to place it.

“I didn’t want to seem awkward, or have to keep nipping out to sort myself out. I just wanted to be able to turn up to site and feel prepared and safe while doing the work.”

The 26-year-old worked alongside PPE manufacturer Pulsar in 2021, developing the initial prototype, which is now accessible globally.

The material makes it comfortable throughout the day, and the fit means it doesn’t need to be adjusted as often while still appropriately covering hair. Aminah drew inspiration from athletic headscarves that are snug, so they can fit comfortably under helmets.

Aminah hopes by removing barriers around ill-fitting PPE, more Muslim girls will consider a job in her profession. “The last few years have been a whirlwind, but If just one person now feels like they can take up a career in engineering after now seeing that companies have access to the PPE headscarf, then it’s all been worth it.”

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Tom Osorio
Tom Osorio
6 months ago

Well done Aminah. This is excellent to see. I have been concerned for a long time that colleagues’ Hijabs were not comfortable or even of suitable materials, for example flame-resistant fabrics.