Susan McGalla- Breaking The Glass Ceiling Through Passion

Statistically, companies who are gender-divers are fifteen percent more likely to succeed. The success trend increases to 35 percent for companies that promote racial diversity. In spite of these chances increasing for business, C-Level executives only constitute a small percentage of companies among the S&P 500.

Although there are many women in the workforce struggling to attain the positions, there are exceptions. Women like Susan McGalla who has helped pave the way for more women leaders. As the daughter of a football coach and growing up with two brothers, there was no favoritism in her household due to her gender. She had to work and work hard to get what she wanted, and has taken those life lessons and applied them to multiple successful high level positions.

When McGalla began at American Outfitters, the company’s executives were 100 percent male, but she worked her way from the ground up to become President. After her tenure, she began P3 Executive Consulting, and currently, she works for the Pittsburgh Steelers as Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development. For McGalla, attaining a high level position in such a male dominated environment, it’s not surprising at all.

Even though McGalla’s accomplishments have been encouraging, the Glass Ceiling problem many women face is nothing new and still exists. However, there are plenty of networks and initiatives for women that provide support and the sharing of ideas, plan strategies for their businesses, and provide networking opportunities with other entrepreneurial women. These networks and initiatives have made inroads for promoting change, but still have been unable to address the underlying issue- The fact that a male dominated executive hierarchy institutionalizes gender discrimination.

In spite of her upbringing, Susan McGalla describes herself as never having a chip on her shoulder climbing the ranks to executive positions. Very simply, having autonomy in her work life was a result of hard work, being flexible, and working toward things she was passionate about.

McGalla, received a bachelor of science degree in business and marketing from Mount Union College, and married to Stephen McGalla, a Wealth Manager. She is also a board member HFF Inc. and the Magee Womens Hospital.

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