Businesswoman in a Man’s World: Susan McGalla

In a world still mostly being led by men it is refreshing to see a woman at the top of her game in her industry. Susan McGalla is chief merchandising officer and President of Eagle Outfitters at only 41 years old. She started there in 1994 when the board and executive offices consisted of manly men, as did their customer base. She slowly rose through the ranks with hard work and dedication.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Ohio with her two brothers and football coach father, she learned that a woman could do anything a man can do. She credits her father for treating all of his children the same. He taught her that hard work and ethics was all she needed to succeed. Thus, McGalla’s confidence and work ethic has helped her to get where she is today and she is thankful that her father instilled this in her and her brothers.
McGalla started her impressive career at Joseph Horne from 1986 to 1994. Prior to that, she graduated from Mount Union College with her Bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. She began at Eagle Outfitters as merchandise buyer for women’s clothing but she worked in various roles until becoming President of the company. Susan McGalla also worked at Wet Seal and become Chief Executive Officer there from January 2011 to July 2012. She helped the struggling Wet Seal improve profit, quality and trends while there.
Women make up half of the workforce today yet it is still only 10 to 15% on the boards of major companies or holding the top tier positions. Susan McGalla helps women to advance by giving advice to them and showing what we can do. One of the things she says is not to ignore the glass ceiling but to instead work as hard as anyone else. Do not have a chip on your shoulder or try to use your position as a woman to get you further. Focus instead on being the best person for the job. She suggests women not contribute to the gender stereotypes themselves and let their work speak for itself. Also surround yourself with other positive influences. Susan has taken it upon herself to be one of the positive role models for women everywhere.
Susan McGalla and her husband and 2 children reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania today. Ms. McGalla is proof to women everywhere that we really can have it all. With hard work, dedication and perseverance that is!

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