Susan McGalla Speaks On The Gender Card And Business Leadership

Susan McGalla is a marketing consulting professional who became the first female executive president of American Eagle Outfitters. While she was still in that role and announced the new company headquarters opening in Pittsburgh, she was pressed by the media about whether her accomplishment was a new monument in the glass ceiling of women in the workplace. McGalla actually argued the contrary and explained that she has never felt the need to use her gender card as a way to earn positions in life. She said when she was a little girl, her parents expected just as much hard work from her as they did her older brothers, and she took that to heart after joining American Eagle. She said the way she considers people’s success in the workplace is just accomplishments by people and not by either men or women.

Susan McGalla was born in a rural community in eastern Ohio and attended a small college at Mount Union. After graduating, she became a merchandising assistant manager for the now defunct Joseph Horne department store company for about 10 years, and the experience she gained at this company was brought with her when she became a regional merchandise manager for American Eagle. In this role, McGalla was responsible for select inventory and marketing of women’s apparel, and her input and new ideas landed her in the corporate wing of the company and in several years elevated her to Chief Merchandising Officer and president.

McGalla left American Eagle in 2009 but joined several other companies including HFF Inc. where she served on the executive board and served as an advisor for marketing decisions. Several years ago she joined the NFL franchise Pittsburgh Steelers as their Vice President of Business and Creative Strategy, a position largely entailing bringing in memorabilia, gameday merchandise, tailgating equipment, jerseys and even new additions that were announced such as jewelry and home products. McGalla also recently had the fan shop’s website reorganized to serve mobile users better and had brand new displays and decor setup in the pro shop. McGalla also offers advice to company PR departments part-time at P3 Executive Consulting.

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