Pittsburgh native Susan McGalla is the former CEO of American Eagle Outfitters and Wet Seal Inc. Not only is she one of the youngest female’s to head a Fortune 500 company, she has also been recognized for her trailblazing efforts to get more women in the boardroom.
McGalla graduated from Union College with a degree in marketing. Right out of college, she took a job at Joseph Horne, where she worked in a variety of positions. A few years later, she moved on to American Eagle Outfitters. Within five years, she was named company CEO.
Although there were few women in the boardroom during her stint at American Eagle Outfitters, McGalla was not going to be intimidated. She says a combination of smarts and hard work is what helped her excel.
Growing up in a family with two older brothers toughened her exterior. She was never allowed to use her gender as an excuse. Her coach father always told her she could succeed as long as she had the determination to do so. Her family values paid off in way she never imagined.
After her foray into the corporate world, McGalla decided to start her own company. P3 Executive Consulting is a company that provides business and marketing strategies for retail corporations.
She also works for the Pittsburgh Steelers organization as the Director of Marketing Strategies.
McGalla says she is very proud of women in the workplace. Although women are making more strides, she says they still haven’t come far enough. She says one of the biggest reasons why women still haven’t climbed the corporate ladder is due to lack of support. She says more women are needed to provide that support.
In the meantime, McGalla is still offering her stellar advice to any business in need of her assistance.