How Susan McGalla Succeeds in Man’s World

Susan McGalla recognized early in her career that sexism existed in corporate America, but that wouldn’t deter her from pursuing her goals; she made it a point to prove she was just as capable as men. To further emphasize this point, McGalla joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development, for the male-dominated NFL team. In addition to her role as Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development, McGalla is a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Pittsburgh and a council member for the University of Pittsburgh’s Cancer Institute. McGalla is a Mount Union College alumna, who earned her B.A. in business and marketing in 1986, and began her career in fashion; she joined American Eagle Outfitters in 1994, serving as President and Chief Merchandising Officer.

During her time with American Eagle Outfitters, McGalla was instrumental in leading the company towards significant profits; in fact, revenue increased from $340 million to over $3 billion. In 2009, McGalla decided to try her hand at entrepreneurship and became an independent retail consultant, before taking on the role of CEO for Wet Seal, a clothing retailer popular amongst teens. In 2013, McGalla decided to pursue entrepreneurship once again; she established P3 Executive Consulting, a firm predicated on providing advisory services to both Financial and Wall Street clientele.

In addition to leading by example, Susan McGalla has held speaking engagements with organizations like the Women and Girl’s Foundation of Pittsburgh, as well as the Carnegie Mellon University. During these engagements, where the audience is predominantly female, McGalla expounds on her journey towards smashing the “glass ceiling” and what it takes to be a woman in a “man’s world.” McGalla’s story is a testament to what can be achieved with commitment, and the desire to prove that you are just as capable anyone else.

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