Susan McGalla: American Female Eagle

Susan McGalla on phx.corporate is one of the most successful businesswomen of the day. She started her career back in 1986 as a teen retailer at Joseph Horne Company, where she worked until 1996. Then in 1996, when the executive offices mostly consisted of men, she joined American Eagle Outfitters. This, however, did not stop her from advancing quickly to become an expert consultant to clients on branding, marketing, talent management, operational efficiencies and more. Her activism and struggle, which led her to her final success, have been an inspiration for many women who are looking for a career in the same field.
Born and raised in East Liverpool, Ohio, Susan McGalla grew up with two older brothers and a father, who was a football coach. Her father did not cut slack on her but encouraged her “to work hard and present her good ideas with confidence regardless of the audience”. When she grew up, she was able to be “equally comfortable with men and women and excelled in working with both men and women”. And this confidence was crucial to her success as a business woman. As the society is sometimes filled with prejudices about women, her road to success was not an easy one. However, she held various management positions with American Eagle Outfitters and even became a chief merchandising officer. During that period, the company’s revenue increased from 340 million dollars to over 3 billion dollars.
Her colleagues describe her as smart, efficient and driven. They say she never accepts the status quo but oftentimes succeeds in having it her own way. Her management skills have improved over the years and now she is able to scope at every element objectively and to determine if it can be used to improve the work. The fact she is a woman made it harder for her to advance in this business but when she did, she had a few pieces of advice for all the women who struggle with the same thing. “Most women I speak with are seeking an authentic perspective that has practical application,” says McGalla. “The buzzwords and party lines have become hollow to women who don’t want to be targeted as women, but as professionals.” She is an eagle when it comes to marketing and sometimes works more than her male counterparts.
There are so many things to say about Susan McGalla. She is now working as Director of Strategic Planning and Growth in the Pittsburgh Steelers, LLC. Leadership positions are where she was born and bred to be and now after many years of struggling in the male-dominated world, she has succeeded in becoming one of the most influential female CEO’s and Presidents. And there is no reason why she couldn’t do even better.

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