A lot of women have struggled to have a successful career. Women like Susan McGalla have paved a path for these women. Her upbringing made her comfortable working with both sexes and her career is a success story. Her career started when she went to work for American Eagle Outfitters. Although every executive at this time was male, she became the President. After she left the company she created P3 Executive Counseling and is currently working for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Unfortunately not all women have achieved success because of the proverbial glass ceiling. There are groups providing support for women and giving them the opportunity to share their ideas. The problem is in order for a woman to succeed she requires the support of other businesswomen. This becomes difficult since three quarters of the senior roles are filled by men. One possible solution is opportunities for sponsorship. Women in executive positions can sponsor other women and create necessary opportunities. This would be an excellent way to advocate women’s rights and may prove to be the missing key.
The Joseph Horne Company was Susan McGalla’s first step into the business world. From 1986 through 1994 she worked in numerous management and marketing positions. Later in the same year she became a part of American Eagle Outfitters. She began as a merchandise buyer specializing in women’s clothing until becoming the CMO and President for the American Eagle Brand. This led to her promotion as President for the company. Her achievements included launching the brands for both 77kids and aerie.
In January of 2009 Susan McGalla departed from American Eagle Outfitters to work in the areas of financial and retail investments as a private consultant. HFF Incorporated elected her to sit on their Board of Directors in October of 2009. In January of 2011, she was Ed Thomas’s successor as CEO of Wet Seal Inc. During her initial tenure working for Wet Seal she was pregnant and was working remotely from home. In August of 2011 Susan McGalla began working for the company on a full time basis. Her achievements have been an inspiration for women.
While there are many companies that still have a larger population of one gender over another, there are advantages to having a diverse structure. Statistically, when a company has gender-diversity of at least 15 percent, those companies have a better advantage for higher performance levels and greater success than those that do not. The reason companies will out-perform with gender-diversity is simply because it brings a wider scope of ideas and different levels of perspective.
As a career businesswoman and leader, Susan McGalla has worked in several marketing and managerial levels within a company. Susan is a graduate from Mount Union College with a degree in marketing and business. In 1994, she began her impressive tenure with American Eagle Outfitters, which she used her marketing knowledge to become the company’s divisional merchandise buyer. Among several managerial opportunities, this position ultimately led Susan to become the Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO) for American Eagle Outfitters.
During Susan’s tenure as CMO, she was instrumental with implementing successful merchandising plans that are well-known for American Eagle Outfitters brand collections, which have been extremely popular even to this date. Susan orchestrated winning strategies in order to develop purchasing and merchandising opportunities that not only met the market trends, but she also executed the profitable timing strategy for availability. Her leadership skills were paramount in American Eagle Outfitters growing in the fashion industry which ultimately led to Susan becoming the company’s President.
Susan is now the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development within the Pittsburgh Steelers Organization.
Many women look to successes like Susan’s career as inspiration for how to move forward in their executive leadership path. While professional women continue to strive for equal platforms within the business culture, there’s mounting evidence of how contributions of a diverse nature bring forth even more effectiveness in executive leadership.
Creating an equal balance among men and women is not the ultimate goal for the business world to thrive. The goal is for there to be equal opportunities within executive leadership in order to have greater input and achieve higher success within business.