Susan McGalla of the Pittsburgh Steelers is an example of how a woman can rise up the ranks of a typically male-dominate industry and achieve success. McGalla, who is the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was formerly President and CMO of American Eagle Outfitters, CEO at Wet Seal Inc., and founded P3 Executive Consulting.
Companies with a high amount of gender and ethnic diversity outperform companies without diversity. However, despite the high number of women in management positions, it is rare for companies to have women in C-level positions.
Women leadership initiatives have not been able to help women break into top management positions in many companies. Executive sponsorships, however, have a better track record of helping women succeed. Women who have held C-level positions, such as Susan McGalla, therefore have an opportunity to assist other women move up the corporate ladder and help to shatter the glass ceiling that many women face. And because diverse companies are often top performers, sponsoring women leaders will often increase the bottom line at almost any company.
McGalla rose up to be President and Chief Merchandising Officer at American Eagle Outfitters after joining the company 1994 after leaving the Joseph Horne Company, where she had worked from 1986 to 1994. As President and CMO of American Eagle Outfitters, she was in charge of the marketing, design, and merchandising of the company. She served in that role from 2005 until 2009. She is also the former CEO of Wet Seal Inc., a position she took in 2011, before founding her own consulting business in 2012 and later joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.
She is from East Liverpool, Ohio, and graduated from Mount Union College, located in Alliance, Ohio, with a degree in business and marketing. In addition to her role with the Pittsburgh Steelers, she sits on the Board of Advisors of Mount Union College, the board of directors at both HFF Inc., a commercial real estate company, and Magee-Womens Hospital Research Institute and Foundation. She has also served as a trustee of the University of Pittsburgh.