Modern society is beginning to prove more and more that dreams do come true. From coast to coast, sea to sea, hopeful prospects are seeking employment and working toward achieving their dreams of self-actualization. In today’s society, organizations are seeing an increase in diversity, gender differences, and cultural backgrounds at an increasing rate. What happens, however, when diversity meets that tainted glass ceiling in an industry long considered designed for male leadership?
Susan McGalla was born in East Liverpool, Ohio to a family that left no slack for females. Two older brothers and a football coach father taught her to be strong, work hard, and always be willing to stand behind your ideas with confidence even when others may not feel the same. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Marketing from Mount Union College, where she also currently serves on the Board of Trustees and Advisors. Susan McGalla is married to Stephen McGalla, a wealth manager.
Her career in marketing and managerial positions began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the Joseph Horne Company, where she would serve in various capacities from 1986 to 1994. She began her career in the corporate industry working for American Eagle Outfitters, which was a company in which the executive leadership were predominantly males. She would break the trend before leaving by attaining the position of President of the company. Her ascension in the company would prove to pave the way for a cultural change at the corporate level, which saw the integration of more females in executive leadership positions and create a culture of diversity not identified by gender differences. After leaving American Eagle, Susan McGalla founded P3 Executive Consulting and eventually became the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Though one may believe that her ascension to this position has allowed her to develop initiatives for women, Susan McGalla does not agree with that as being a solution to increasing female leadership in the work place. She believes that in order to increase the number of capable female executives in organizations, that sponsors, or senior executives, should invest in their female employees and give them the opportunity to step up to the position in which they desire to rise. By doing so, it not only challenges women to be authoritative in a predominantly male industry, but also challenges executives to place their faith in women and give them a chance to lead.
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