Susan McGalla, On The Cutting Edge Of Women In Leadership

Statistically, companies with gender and ethnic diversity tend to outperform companies that are not. This is due to the fact that these companies tend to have multiple perspectives that they can take advantage of. This trend, however, is very slowly trying to gain momentum, but many high-level positions are still held by men in the S&P 500 companies.

Susan McGalla is a woman who is challenging the status quo and making great strides in her leadership roles. She is the Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the Pittsburgh Steelers. She also served as president of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. where she excelled through the company ranks to become president of the entire company. With these accomplishments and much more, she has created a dialogue about the role of women in leadership.


Women have many resources available to them today such as networks and initiatives but these are only part of the solution. Networking and taking part in initiatives to change the status quo is not working and there need to be some changes. There needs to be more mentorship and executive sponsorship that allows women the chance to participate in high-level assignments and taking on responsibilities within a company that can help them gain the leadership roles that they seek. This is one way that Susan McGalla states women can gain leadership roles within organizations and it is how she was able to make great strides in her roles as president of high profile companies. Companies that participate in a mentorship or executive sponsorship program can help their companies become more gender and ethnically diverse which statistics have proven that these types of companies outperform those that are not.


Susan McGalla received her Bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Mount Union College and has had various leadership positions throughout her career. She began her career with the Joseph Horne Company in various managerial and marketing positions from 1986 until 1994, after which she joined American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. McGalla left American Eagle in January 2009 to become a private consultant for the financial investment and retail industries. She now holds her current position as Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the Pittsburgh Steelers.



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