Susan McGalla: A Woman Without Limits

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Susan McGalla is the perfect example of the saying what a man can do a woman can do better. Born in East, Liverpool, Ohio she was raised together with two brothers by a father who was a football coach. No one cut her any slack because she was a girl and growing up she understood that when it comes to work, there are no jobs for men or women, everyone creates their opportunities. She attended Mount Union College where she received a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing.

She began her career working in different managerial and marketing positions at Joseph Home Company from 1986-1994 and later that year joined American Eagle Outfitters. She first held the position of divisional merchandise buyer in women’s clothing. During this period all the executive slots were occupied by men and Susan McGalla had to work her way up the ranks to become its Chief Merchandising Officer and President. As a career woman, she is an inspiration to other women, and according to her, most of them seek an authentic perspective and would like to be seen as executives and not just women. Susan left American Eagle Outfitters in 2009 and joined Wet Seal Inc. as its president in 2011. When she left the company, McGalla founded P3 Executive Consulting and holds the position of Creative Development and vice-president of Business Strategy at Pittsburgh Steelers.

Women initiatives that seek to support them miss the main issue that is women supporting women in business and according to Susan McGalla creating sponsorship changes will assist in breaking the cycle of gender discrimination cycle. The Sponsor would advocate for women to lead important projects and assignments while still mentoring the women making organizations gender-diverse. Susan herself has never thought she was entitled to anything because she was a woman or carry a chip over her shoulder due to prejudices. She works on empowering more women to take up executive roles in their organizations, and she has spoken in numerous women conferences asking the women to emulate her approach and attitude as they traverse the male-dominated work environment.

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