It is a well known, albeit unfortunate, fact that women continue to struggle to reach the same executive-level positions as their male counterparts. Regardless of their education and experience levels, and despite progressive efforts, women still find themselves limited by the “glass ceiling” of male politics that seems as firmly rooted as ever.
However, there are women like Susan McGalla that break through the barriers and prove that not all feminine efforts are made in vain. Despite all obstacles, McGalla rose through the male-dominated executive ranks at American Eagle Outfitters, ultimately becaoming President and Chief Marketing Officer, or CMO, of the entire company. After leaving American Eagle, she was appointed to the Board of Directors at HFF Inc, then Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, of Wet Seal Inc in January 2011. After her departure from Wet Seal, she founded P3 Executive Consulting and is currently Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers. She passionate about giving women the tools to get ahead in the business world, and has spoken her views and advice to many different audiences.
Growing up in Liverpool, OH, in a household with two older brothers and a football coach father, McGalla has grown up learning to be tough and not expect any breaks because she’s a girl. She was taught to see her gender as neither an advantage or a hinderance, and the importance of quality work no matter what the situation. Accordingly, she has learned to excel when working with both men and women, and has never allowed her sex to factor into her career goals. She earned her BA from Mount Union College, and jumped into business right after graduation.
After many years of hard work and being flexible in any given situation, McGalla is fulling enjoying working for herself and controlling her own career.