July 14, 2022

Overcoming Doubt to Become President of Iron Workers 197 with Carole Raftrey

One thing the trades industry needs more of is support. Support for one another’s success, support for a better work/life balance, support in achieving goals and promotions, and frankly, more support for women.


In this episode, I welcome Carole Raftrey, a 30-year iron worker based in New York City and President of Iron Workers 197. Carole has experienced a regretful misstep that many of us don’t talk about, but she’s here to shed light on that misstep and share the empowering lesson she learned from it. If you’ve ever suffered from a lack of confidence, uncertainty in your leadership skills, or you just want to succeed as a woman in the trades, this episode is for you.


Tune in to hear how Carole has overcome doubt and oppression from male colleagues to become a great leader in the trades and how she’s helping other women to become successful tradespeople, too.


“I just smile from ear to ear when I see that [women in the trades] are thriving, they’re making a good living, their getting shit done. I love it.”  - Carole Raftrey


What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

·       How Carole went from working in TV broadcasting to apprenticing in ironwork

·       How she became President of her local union of Iron Workers 197

·       What does it take to become a great leader of an organization?

·       Changes that are impacting the ironwork trade & What it’s like to be an ironworker in New York City

·       What skills and characteristics make a good welder or tradesperson?

·       Are you able to see the results of your hard work as a leader?

·       Tips and advice for managing stress as a leader or president of an organization

·       The state of the apprenticeship market & How hard is it to find ironwork apprenticeships in 2022?

·       Advice for women and people navigating promotions and facing oppression from male colleagues

·       The importance of finding community in the trades, especially for women

·       Carole’s Learning and Misstep: Letting others (men) talk her out of getting a job as a superintendent & The power of giving yourself confidence and not doubting yourself.


“You don’t have to look like a big, tough person. You can be able to go into the trades and learn your way through it and become productive and be somebody that somebody can look up to.”            - Carole Raftrey


Connect with Carole:


Resources Mentioned: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-raftrey-6913a570/

Learn more about Iron Workers 197:  http://www.ironworkers197.org 

ULA Network: https://www.ulanetwork.com/