Susan McGalla’s Philosophies On Women’s Leadership

Susan P. McGalla has become one of the leading females in marketing and branding and has brought her work to a myriad of organizations. Right now she’s working with the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers in their merchandise marketing department as the head of creative strategies, and she also spends time sitting on the board of advisors at Mt. Union College. In her spare time she also travels to deliver lectures at various women’s seminars and college campuses where she addresses young women who have similar desires to become successful in business. McGalla has said her career embodies several philosophies about being a woman.

First, McGalla says she never expected her gender to give her a free pass or play a role in her promotions over the years. The only thing she values is hard work because her parents taught her as a young girl that nothing was going to come easy and that they expected no less than for her to do her best in fulfilling her goals. Second, she doesn’t believe in any of her accomplishments to be revolutionary or to be shattering glass ceilings. She simply believes everyone who becomes successful does so as a person and not a man or woman. And finally she’s also laid out tips for both married and single moms to manage their careers and be full-time mothers.

Susan McGalla grew up in East Liverpool, OH in a family that did farm work, and also played sports with her father coaching football and her two brothers playing in high school. McGalla also loved sports and still does, but she became interested in business and merchandising as she entered college and completed her bachelor’s at Mt. Union. Once she completed that she entered the fashion retail world and started in merchandising with the Joseph Horne Company.

McGalla served about 6 years at Joseph Horne, and when that company closed she moved to American Eagle Outfitters where she started out as a local merchandising officer and then joined the corporate branch of the company and became both president and chief merchandising officer. Prior to McGalla’s arrival, American Eagle had primarily been a men’s fashion brand, but McGalla introduced new lines that diversified it into an all-inclusive gender brand. American Eagle saw tremendous success under McGalla over the 16 years she was there. After leaving American Eagle, McGalla joined several other Pittsburgh financial groups and then started her own company known as P3 Executive Consulting in addition to working part time with the Steeler’s organization.


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