Susan McGalla: Grit Over Gender

In the article, “How Pittsburgh’s Susan McGalla Paved the Way for Women in Leadership” the author talks about the career of Susan McGalla and what that can mean for women that want to occupy future executive roles. The article, on Phillypurge.com, is a great resource for some of the things that can be done to help women who what to climb the corporate ladder.

One of the major themes of the article is the overall upward mobility of women in the business world. At this time, there are a plethora of initiatives aimed at diversifying the workforce. Unfortunately, this has had little effect on the current population. In fact, the author eloquently points out that if these initiatives worked there would already be a marked change in the leadership population. The problem, he says, is that there are not enough female mentors. When thinking about all the powerful business leaders of S&P 500 companies, only a very small percentage of C-level positions are held by women. The solution is for women that have already attained these positions to reach out to future female executives and foster their growth. A mentorship program would go a long way towards equalizing the current climate.

Susan McGalla, a woman that has broken into the field of corporate leadership, has never been one to shy away from a challenge. In Ohio, she grew up with two brothers and a football coach as a father. She cites her upbringing as a key aspect of her success. With a father that would never accept anything less than everything she had to give, McGalla learned from an early age that giving up was not in the cards.

After college, she entered the business world determined to make her mark. She started with American Eagle Outfitters in an executive role and moved up to President. After working there for a time, she thought that some vocational freedom was in order and she set out to forge her own path. Currently, McGalla serves as the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers and she runs her own consulting business. She has proven that fighting your way to the top is all about grit and determination, not gender.