Susan McGalla’s: The Corporate World’s Female Hero

Having a gender-diverse company is key to keeping your business thriving. Pitssburgh’s Susan McGalla is proof of that. Statistics have shown that ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform companies that are not diverse. Business analysts believe it is because these companies are open to new ideas. Despite all this, only a small percentage of top positions in S&P 500 companies are currently held by women.

Females struggle to reach high executive level positions within a variety of organizations. People like Pittsburgh’s own Susan McGalla has helped make it a little bit easier. Susan McGalla rose up through the ranks at American Eagle Outfitters, when she began all the executives were male. Before leaving American Eagle, she became president. She is currently the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. The sports industry is dominated by men. As part of the Business Strategy and Creative Development, she helped develop the “wear what we wear” campaign that encouraged Steeler fans to purchase authentic Steeler gear.

Susan McGalla started her own consulting firm, P3 Executive Consulting. While Susan McGalla succeeds, many still struggle. The “glass ceiling” is still a reality and is constantly being addressed year after year. Networks have been created to provide women with support and the opportunity to share ideas with each other. These networks fail to address the issues stopping change from happening and that is discrimination.

Women leaders have found one way to end the gender discrimination cycle with corporations and that is to offer sponsorship opportunities. The executive sponsor would work with the women to create opportunities and recommend women to head projects or work on key assignments. This would encourage male leadership to come along of serious businesswomen to help them find the right executive role. Businesses should be working to find a way to increase the number of women executives in all businesses.

Susan McGalla was born and raised in East Liverpool, Ohio. She has two brothers and her father was a top football coach. She attended Mount Union College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. She serves on the Board of Advisers at Mount Union College.


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