Susan McGalla: What glass ceiling?

The article from Phillypurge relates how in a world where companies with ethnic and gender diversity outperform their competitors, yet only a few S&P 500 companies have women in high executive positions, Susan McGalla is helping lead the way for women executives.

The article recounts McGalla’s beginnings in the lower tiers of American Eagle Outfitters her rise through the ranks until she exited as the company president, and her current work as a Vice President for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The article notes that Women leadership initiatives do not appear to be the answer, as they have not produced an equity in the ratios of men to women executives. The article ends by suggesting that instead of leadership initiatives, women executives sponsor and support other women more directly.

McGalla emphasizes the importance of providing personal perspectives to the women who seek to advance in business; she believes that traditional approach are full of buzzwords that ring hollow. In speaking to various audiences she relates her upbringing, which, as she notes, put no emphasis on gender as being helpful or harmful. She says she was encouraged to speak her mind with confidence. Following this mode of thought, she says her career at American Eagle Outfitters involved no angle of breaking the Glass Ceiling. In making the ratio of men to women more equal among executives she favors the gender-neutral approach.

Susan McGalla was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, and after graduating with a Bachelor’s in business and marketing from Mount Union College, she began her career at Joseph Horne Company in 1986. After working her way up through the ranks of American Eagle Outfitters from 1994 to 2009, she became a private consultant for the retail and financial investment industries, served on the board of directors at HIFF, became the CEO of Wet Seal Inc., and founded P3 Executive Consulting.

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