Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Ironworker Blazes a Trail for Women of Color

Latinas Welding Guild

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Consuela Poland is a member of Ironworkers Local 22 in Indianapolis. Having been the only woman of color in her welding class seven years ago, she is now trying to encourage workers like her to join the trade. “Being new to the industry you don’t know what questions to ask, you don’t know who to talk to, no one teaches you that stuff,” she told The Indianapolis Star. “If they don’t feel confident enough to go buy their own supplies, then there’s a chance they won’t keep welding. There’s a chance they give up.” Poland founded the Latinas Welding Guild in 2017 to mentor and empower the Latina community and women in central Indiana through welding. Local 22 in Indiana represents more than 1,000 members in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and Lafayette, and only 11 of those members are women.