Susan McGalla – Executive Women for the Future

Women are finding themselves in the top echelon of more companies every year. With statistics indicating that businesses that have high-position women perform 15% higher, companies who embrace diversity and welcome capable and strong women in leadership roles are finding their bottom line improving.

One such company was American Eagle Outfitters under the leadership of Susan McGalla. She began as a low-level employee worked her way up to becoming the president before leaving the company. Their loss is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ gain.

Susan McGalla left American Eagle Outfitters to found P3 Executive Consulting. She is Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development with the Pittsburgh Steelers. She took her background experience from previous work and integrated that knowledge to help spark a campaign called “wear what we wear” to encourage fans to buy and wear Steelers clothing. Her confident demeanor drew others in to accept her ideas.

Women in Leadership

Though McGalla has found her way to the top of more than one organization, this is not the case for all women. The “glass ceiling” has been keeping women from top-spots in corporations for decades. Even with initiatives to help women reach the same goals as their male counterparts, there is still disparity. Only around twenty-five percent of all companies world-wide have female leadership.

Executive Sponsorship

To try to help equal the field for women, executive sponsorship tries to curb gender discrimination that has kept females from obtaining leadership roles. Sponsorships hope to help create new opportunities for women in executive posts in major companies. Not all women have the same chance to rise through the ranks as McGalla did.

Executive sponsors would receive incentives if they choose to invest in women leadership opportunities. Male executive mentors and sponsors would hire, work with and promote women leaders within their companies. The idea that a gender-diverse corporation would be better suited to grow with the ever-changing world.

Susan McGalla

Susan McGalla grew up in a male-dominant home with two older brothers and a father who coached football. She attributes her drive and skills as a leader to her father who did not treat her differently merely because she was not born a boy. She also credits both her parents with her ambition. They were strong supporters and encouraged her to work hard and to be confident when presenting ideas–no matter the audience.

McGalla received her BA from Mount Union College. She stepped from college to the Jason Horne Company. It was only a few years before she was able to transfer her education and skills to American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. She credits the open-minded executives with her ability to rise from a low-level position to executive. Her own rise helped the corporation’s male-dominant culture to merge into a gender-diverse one due to her own success and impressive resume.

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