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

Green Collar Consultants, Inc.

Est. 2008 | State College

Green Collar Consultants, Inc. is a certified Disadvantaged (Woman-Owned) Business Enterprise providing sustainability consulting services to the building industry. Karen Norris, president and owner, became a LEED Accredited Professional in 2009. Her goal in forming Green Collar Consultants, Inc. was to unite the often divided factions of white collar professionals and the blue collar workforce into a team with a different color in mind: green.

As the primary consultant, Norris helps clients achieve LEED certification or simply incorporate as many energy saving and environmentally friendly aspects as possible into the design and construction of buildings.

One of Green Collar Consultants’ early projects was facilitating the LEED Certification of Penn State University’s Applied Research Laboratories Bldg. 5, which achieved Silver Level of LEED for New Construction. A favorite, recent project, Big Spring Spirits Micro-Distillery, achieved LEED certification at the Gold Level and was awarded the US Green Building Council Central PA Chapter’s 2016 Historic Preservation Project of the Year.

“The green building industry is constantly growing with amazing new technologies and crazy innovations. Read, attend lectures, participate in conferences and seminars. Through this sharing of knowledge, small ideas become great accomplishments,” Norris said, sharing her advice to people working in this industry.

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