Susan McGalla: The Trailblazing Woman Behind Many Successful Businesses

Susan McGalla is an American businesswoman who worked her way up to top positions in internationally branded companies despite being a woman in a male-dominated world of business. McGalla has been a trailblazer for other women coming up. She started working at Joseph Horne Company from 1986 to 1994, and worked her way up the ranks, occupying various managerial titles there. Later in 1994, she landed the appointment of divisional merchandise buyer for American Eagle Outfitters. Before her time ended there, she became the president and chief merchandising officer, and was largely responsible for the commencement of the brands, 77kids and Aerie. Susan then worked for the teen clothing retailer, Wet Seal, as chief executive officer. Her own business, P3 Executive Consulting, was founded soon after her departure from Wet Seal, and she is on the Board of Advisor’s of her alma mater, Mount Union College from which she received a Bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. To the football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, she serves as Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development. She contributed to the team’s “wear what we wear” initiative.

The kind of success that McGalla has been able to achieve is no small feat for any person, man or woman. The fact remains that stories like this one belong mostly to men. Efforts like executive sponsorship are being made to ameliorate conditions in the work place for women. The idea is for people in positions of power to sponsor or guide women so that they may gain access to opportunities to propel them into success. Executive sponsors would have to be incentivized, but the effort itself is a benefit to us all. Statistically, gender-diverse businesses are 15% more likely to surpass the performance of other companies.

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