A Confident and Successful Leader, Susan McGalla

The reason that some companies outperform others may be because of their diversity. Statistics has shown that gender-diversity in a company is 15 per cent more likely to outperform a company that has no gender diversity. Companies which are ethnically diversified are 35 per cent more likely to outperform a company that is not ethnically diverse. The reason is that with diversity comes an open sharing of ideas. The S&P 500 companies however do not seem to go by the statistics, because a very small percentage of women hold high positions in their companies.

Many women struggle to reach management or director positions in their companies, but Susan McGalla led the way for other women to rise up to important positions. Susan was raised with two brothers and a dad who was a football coach. She was not pampered just because she was a female. Susan earned everything she worked for and carried those ideas throughout her life. Susan became extremely successful and held many high level positons.

Susan worked for American Eagle Outfitters and worked her way up through the company. There were only male executives in the company when she started. Upon her exit from the company, Susan was the president. Susan in now with the Pittsburgh Steelers as their Vice President of Creative Development and Business Strategy. She is the founder of P3 Executive Consulting. She developed an innovative campaign for fans to “wear what we wear” and increased the sales of the Steelers gear. Susan feels that women do not want to be thought of as just women working for the company, but as professionals.

There are plenty of networks and initiatives for women to learn how to advance in their careers. The network group’s offers women support, ideas, and platform strategizes on how to move up through the ranks in their company. They are given connections with other women in their fields and taught the latest trends in the business world.

The latest idea is to have executive mentors in the company who would sponsor women into leading projects on important assignments. Executive sponsors would then be given an incentive to help women to become leaders. Mentorship within the company would help to diversify the company and help the company to outperform those companies who do not diversity.

McGalla Climbs to Business Success In A Man’s World

Susan McGalla was born in the small town of East Liverpool, Ohio, and there she grew up learning to be a “tough go-getter” from her football coach father. She also learned to keep pace with two older brothers who didn’t “cut her slack” just because she was a girl.

It might have been just the perfect early training ground for a woman who would grow up to become one of the most successful businesswomen and CEOs in America.

After graduating high school, McGall went on to earn a BA degree from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. From there she went to work for American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. What she encountered at this established, venerable company was a heavily male-dominated corporate culture where any woman was automatically relegated to second-tier status – even though times were changing and the company was already taking steps to foster more equality.

But McGalla grew up in a male-oriented household and was undaunted – she embraced her duties and worked her way up from purchasing to a series of management positions. She kept climbing the ladder until she achieved the position of president and chief merchandising officer. At American Eagle Outfitters she was responsible for the P&L, generating revenues of $3 billion and ramping up the company’s e-commerce site and sales.

Despite encountering male-dominated business cultures, McGalla describes her approach as nonconfrontational. She said she did not navigate her job “with a chip on her shoulder” or make any grand attempt to “shatter the glass ceiling.”

In 2009, Mcgalla moved on from American Eagle to become a private consultant within the retail and financial investment industries. She landed a place on the board of directors of HFF Inc., one of the largest and most successful commercial real estate capital intermediaries in the country.

McGalla was named CEO of Wet Seal Inc. in 2011 and parted way with the company about a year later to establish her own private consulting firm, P3 Executive Consulting. She also serves as vice president of business strategy and creative development for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL.

Today, McGalla is enthusiastic about being in control of her own destiny, running her own firm and working with many of the top business leaders in the United States. Her expertise is eagerly sought after by a wide cross section of players within the retail and financial industry sectors.