Multiple academic studies, along with heaps of personal experiences, have shown that in business settings men not only talk more than women, but also tend to more frequently interrupt their female peers. The reasons that the studies have settled on vary from men using conversation as a tool of dominance to men simply being raised to perceive interruptions differently, but the evidence of men feeling more entitled to voice their opinions is quite clear.

This, of course, is very annoying on a day-to-day basis, but there are larger problems stemming out from it that have a truly negative effect on working women; including the fact that the more someone talks, the more likely their voice will be amplified.

That’s where Women in Business hopes to be a positive force. We hope to amplify the voices that might otherwise be interrupted. That’s why we are proud to continue our tradition of celebrating women-led businesses and organizations with our second annual Fifty Women- Owned Businesses to Follow list.

Inside this issue you will be introduced to 50 women-owned and women-led companies that serve as shining examples of what women can accomplish in business no matter what the industry. Companies and organizations included range from construction firms to advertising to information technology. By including such a large variety, we aim to blur the conceptual line between men and women’s work until people forget it ever existed.

As always, the opportunity for Women in Business to feature such an array of organizations came from our readers, who sent in nominations from communities across our 23-county readership. A few names on the list may be familiar from previous lists such as Top 100, Women Making a Difference or last year’s Fifty to Follow. Many are new additions that we were happy to discover have found such success in Central Pennsylvania.

We hope that the final list represents both large well-established companies and small startups full of potential, while also covering every region of our readership. Readers will see that growing your business is possible in all corners of the commonwealth, whether you are in Altoona, Clairton or Troy.

It is not only our mission to provide a podium for current success stories, but also to support women who have yet to break into the business world. With this in mind, we asked each company selected for some advice that they could pass on to someone else looking to succeed in their industry and hope that their answers demystify the intimidating task of starting and maintaining a business.

With this special edition finalized, Women in Business is moving on to collecting submissions for Women Making a Difference, which will shine a spotlight on the individual women who have taken a leading role in business and in their community. The edition will be published this fall and nomination forms can be found on our website under the “Women Making a Difference” tab. .

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2017-06-16 / Top 50 Women Owned Businesses

Advantage Home Health Services, LLC

Est. 2003 | Pittsburgh and Altoona

In just 14 years, Amy Hancock started three companies and has grown from one employee in 2004 to nearly 600 employees today. AdvantageCare Rehabilitation provides geriatric contract therapy services to long- term care and assisted living facilities. Advantage Home Health Services extends Advantage’s benefits and reach to patients leaving long-term facilities in order to support their continued recovery at home. AdvantageCare Consulting was formed to provide management consulting services to nursing homes and rehabilitation centers to help them achieve improved patient outcomes and improved business operations. Hancock also founded Home Health Orthopedic Model for Excellence (HHOME). As a product line for Advantage Home Health Services, HHOME serves as a strategic orthopedic team-based and patient-centered care model.

Hancock and the Advantage companies have been recognized and awarded over the years, including winning the following awards: Pittsburgh’s “Top 25 Women in Business” 2009 Award, Pennsylvania’s “Best 50 Women in Business” 2009 Award, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2009 and Pittsburgh’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies for 2009 and 2010.

Advantage has involved themselves in community outreach by raising money for the American Cancer Society and ALS Association, as well as being a donor and sponsor for the March of Dimes and American Heart Association.

“I believe it is important for any entrepreneur to remember they do not have to know everything to be successful, but rather they have to surround themselves with a solid team. A team that shares the same passion as the entrepreneur,” Hancock said.

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