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Many industries throughout history have been male-dominated, largely due to social and cultural norms in different periods of time. Today, our modern society is seeing a great shift as more women enter not only the workplace but into industries typically run solely by men. Lincoln Creek Lumber is embracing the inclusion of women in the workplace and provides them with opportunities for growth and development in every department. As a primarily male-operated industry, Lincoln Creek Lumber is truly breaking ground by supporting and promoting women in the lumber and hardware industry.

Lincoln Creek Lumber
Brenda Klawitter serves as the Marketing Director and manages social media and public relations for all locations of Lincoln Creek Lumber. Photo credit: Brenda Klawitter

Overcoming Adversity and Promoting Diversity in the Workplace

Lincoln Creek Lumber has been established as a locally-owned and operated business in the community for 100 years and has recently shifted to include more women in every aspect of the business. “In the last 5 years, Lincoln Creek Lumber has had women in every level of management,” shares Marketing Manager Brenda Klawitter. “We have our first female-led lumber yard management team as of 2021 at our Tumwater location, so we broke the wood ceiling, so to speak.” This milestone amongst many others has captured the spirit of Lincoln Creek Lumber, as they strive to create a diverse and inclusive work environment for any qualified and interested individual, male or female.

The company actively promotes collaboration and connection to other women in the industry through organizations such as Olympia Master Builders to encourage personal and professional growth for their female employees. “They have the Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) which is a gathering of other women in the industry,” says Brenda. “They network, collaborate, and share everything and all things that are lumber, building and development.” These opportunities allow women breaking into the field and industry to learn from one another and excel in new roles within organizations like Lincoln Creek Lumber. By working together, women in the industry can learn from one another and build each other up. “My advice for women looking to join the industry is to seek out other women and team up with them because they have blazed this trail for you,” Brenda shares.

Lincoln Creek Lumber
The Lincoln Creek Lumber team is always working to create a greater presence in the community and support their fellow neighbors. General Manager Jeremy Scott discusses ad designs with Graphics Manager Megan Gravelle. Photo credit: Brenda Klawitter

Although Lincoln Creek Lumber has been driven to provide an inclusive and involved work environment for their female staff, the industry as a whole is still tied to old stereotypes and expectations. “Some of the things we face as women in this industry is discrimination from customers, builders or contractors,” Brenda says. “We really have to go the extra mile to prove ourselves, and luckily the owners and management here have been very intentional in making sure our women in business were given the right opportunities.” Having the support of fellow women in the industry and the organization itself has made it more attainable and enjoyable for women looking to enter this sector of the business community.

Lincoln Creek Lumber’s Women-Driven COVID-19 Response

During the pandemic, every industry experienced some sort of impact. Many workplaces lost many women as families struggled to find care for their children and keep everyone in their household safe. Lincoln Creek Lumber didn’t experience this same challenge thanks to the innovation of women in the workplace. As an essential business, Lincoln Creek Lumber remained open but didn’t have the option for parents or staff to work from home. “The women in our company essentially formed a daycare co-op in our breakroom where we would rotate and check in on our kids throughout the day,” Brenda shares. “It’s something that may not have happened without having women in the workplace. It is really a great example of teamwork and how beneficial it is to have women in all levels of every industry.”

Lincoln Creek Lumber
Lincoln Creek Lumber prides itself on the inclusion of women in the workplace and works to create a welcoming environment considerate of their needs. Market Street ACE Manager Jacquie Larsen works while her grandson plays in the office. Photo credit: Brenda Klawitter

In addition to creatively solving childcare concerns, the women of Lincoln Creek Lumber took the reins and made sure that everyone stayed safe and healthy during the pandemic, recalls Brenda. “Our natural role before we worked outside the home was to manage the wellbeing of our household, so we definitely brought that to the workplace, delivering meals and arranging care and leave for those affected by the Pandemic.” Through the teamwork of both men and women on the Lincoln Creek Lumber team, the organization was not only able to serve the community but ended up having one of their busiest years. “We still had people that needed to do home repairs, replace their roof, or do renovations, so none of that slowed down for us during the pandemic,” says Brenda.

An Inclusive Workplace for Every Woman

Lincoln Creek Lumber has a strong history in the community and values ability over all else. “They have always judged a person by their abilities and not by any other standard,” Brenda shares. “We will never look at a woman and question if she can do this job. We look at your

experience and know that you can bring your qualities to the table.” Currently, Lincoln Creek Lumber has opportunities for a range of positions, including contractor sales, drivers and yard workers. They are actively looking to add more people to their team and encourage qualified candidates to apply online via Indeed or in person at one of their locations.

Lincoln Creek Lumber
Lincoln Creek Lumber values the input and collaboration of all staff. General Manager Jeremy Scott discusses procedure updates with management at the Lincoln Creek Lumber company summit. Photo credit: Brenda Klawitter

As they look to the future, Lincoln Creek Lumber is eager to continue to break down stereotypes and barriers by inviting more women into their workplace. Their team values, comradery, and support for newcomers in the industry make Lincoln Creek Lumber a great place to be. If you are looking for a career shift or a new workplace, their team is excited to hear from you! Visit the Lincoln Creek Lumber website for more information.

Lincoln Creek Lumber

Tumwater
2421 93rd Avenue SW
360.956.9147

Centralia
1621 Harrison Avenue
360.736.8261

Chehalis
771 S. Market Boulevard
360.345.1290

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