Susan McGalla, Icon for Women Leadership

Susan McGalla is not only a successful business person, she is an example for all women who wish to succeed at an incredibly high level in the business world. Susan worked her way to the top, serving as a company president, CEO, the founder of her own executive consulting firm, and as Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Susan credits her success to growing up with a football coach father and brothers that never gave in to her because she was a girl. She learned how to work hard for what she wanted, and she applied this work ethic to her career. As a director for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Susan is in an industry dominated by men. However, thanks to her upbringing, she is comfortable in her position and confident in her skills.

Unfortunately, Susan’s success is not all that common. Women only hold a quarter of the executive positions in the business world, according to a PhillyPurge.com article titled “How Pittsburgh’s Susan McGalla Paved the Way for Women in Leadership.” Despite this low number, research has found that companies that practice gender-diversity are more likely to be successful than companies that don’t, according to PhillyPurge.com.

One solution to the numerical gap between women and men business leaders is to create sponsorship opportunities for women that include men and women executive sponsors. There are several women leadership initiatives, but they rely on women executives for support. When only one out of four executives are women, it does not leave enough sponsorship and too many women are missing serious opportunities.

Susan earned her BA in Marketing from Mount Union College, and after 15 years at American Eagle Outfitters, she made it to President and Chief Merchandising Officer. She served as CEO for Wet Seal, Inc. before founding her own firm, P3 Executive Consulting, LLC.