Susan McGalla is still blazing trails after many years. When she was seated as CEO of American Eagle outfitters, she was one of the youngest CEOs and the first at that company.
McGalla had a particular goal in mind and never lost sight of it. And although she rarely saw women in the boardroom, she was determined to shatter that glass ceiling.
Born in Pittsburgh, McGalla was raised in a family that stressed the importance of hard work. She had two older brothers and a father football coach. She knew that her gender would get her no breaks. Her father insisted that she never allow her gender to be a stumbling block.
After graduating from Mount Union College, she immediately went to work for Joseph Horne Company. She worked in various marketing and management positions. After her work was done, she moved on to American Eagle Outfitters. She also worked in many positions and was finally installed as director of marketing.
A year later, she was promoted to company CEO.
American Eagle Outfitters saw record profits during her tenure.
McGalla says she was able to achieve such a level of success through hard work and determination. The lessons she learned while growing up are the same ones she carried into her career goals.
Today, she runs her own company — P3 Executive Consulting. Her firm offers professional services to companies in the form of mentoring, securing financing and marketing. She is also employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers organization as Director of Marketing.
McGalla says she is encouraged by the growing number of women in the boardroom, however, she says there is room for improvement. “The fact of the matter is, companies work better when they have gender diversity,” said McGalla.
She says more companies should encourage women to take on these leadership positions.