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Making Her Own Way: Susan McGalla


Susan McGalla became CMO and President of American Eagle Outfitters at age 41. This was a monumental accomplishment at such a young age. The fact that she is a woman was not even considered important, in her mind. McGalla work was based on her intelligence, abilities, and business sense. Those are the qualities she deemed far more relevant than a gender. She is on the board of HHF and Magee-Womens Hospital Research Institute and Foundation. Her further accomplishments include her current position as Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
McGalla came from East Liverpool, Ohio. She has two brothers, and her father was a local football coach. When Ms. McGalla was growing up, she was treated no differently than her brothers, and was held to an equal standard. She received a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Mount Union College, where she now serves on the Board of Advisors. These are the foundations that formed Susan McGalla into the well-established person she is today. When she was asked to submit an application for a business award for women, she provided that information, with an additional comment stating that she’d never played “the woman card.” Apparently, that was not the direction the group had expected, because she did not receive the award. However, her response resonates with an inner strength that motivates all individuals, rather than a specific gender.
McGalla’s attitude regarding her success offers a perspective that is honest and sincere. Gender should play no part in the business world. The ability to complete assignments with success and diligence have proven much more effective in each of her endeavors. Her dedication to each of her career moves has profited her by providing in-sight that cannot be characterized by gender, but rather a superior understanding of business, people, and the corporate world, in general. For each of her accomplishments, she has bettered the business world by meeting situations in a straightforward manner. The merits Ms. McGalla has achieved are many, but the most important of all of these is her continued success as a business professional, not because she is a woman, but because she has honed her skills to become the best business person she can be. Her efforts are completely concerted to improve the business world by performing at her highest potential, not only as a woman, but by making her own way, based on her own individual merit.

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