Susan McGalla Paves Way For Women CEOs

CEO Susan McGalla is considered a trailblazer when it comes to women in the boardroom. One of the youngest named female CEOs in history, McGalla has successfully run three Fortune 500 companies. Breaking through that glass ceiling wasn’t easy, according to McGalla. If you’re a woman, you have to have thin skin, tenacity, patience and a superb blend of personality, if you want to succeed.


The Pittsburgh native, who grew up with a football coach father, was taught the value of hard work at a very young age. “I was always taught that being a woman is no excuse for not attaining your goals,” said McGalla. After graduating from Mount College, McGalla hit the ground running by securing a job at Joseph Horne Co. She worked in marketing and talent management. In 1994, she joined American Eagle Outfitters. Her incredible work ethic and principles earned her the CEO title in 2006. Her last stop was at Wet Seal. She was appointed CEO in 2011. Longing to create her own company, she left a year later and created P3 Executive Consulting. McGalla’s company helps other corporations in many areas such as finance, human resources and marketing strategies.


The Pittsburgh Steelers recently hired McGalla as Director of Strategic Planning and Growth. She oversees the marketing and production of the team’s product line.


McGalla says she had an incredible experience working for prior employers. When she first started out, there were very few women in the boardroom and CEO positions. She was determined to change that. Although McGalla wanted to prove her worth as an effective leader, there were still a number of stumbling blocks to navigate on her way. Women, in some instances, are still dealing with pay inequity, sexism, racism and other factors, according to McGalla. But despite all that, women continue to rise and prove that they are just as qualified to lead in the corporate world.

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