Getting on Top with Susan McGalla

Susan McGalla may be living the comfortable life with a high level job and multiple successes in her professional life, but she has worked hard to get where she is. Raised by a football coach father and two brothers, she was never treated special just because she was a girl. She was expected to work hard for what she wanted just as everyone else. This lesson was carried on into her adult life, and she has credited it to her successful career.

Many women find it hard to reach the coveted positions on top within organizations but Susan McGalla is helping lead the way for women leaders. She began at Joseph Horne Company working marketing and managerial positions until 1994, then joined American Eagle Outfitters the same year. At American Eagle Outfitters she climbed her way up the corporate ladder and found herself on top as President of the company before leaving in 2009. She then founded P3 Executive Consulting in 2012 and sits at the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Data analysis proves that gender diversity and ethnically diverse companies are more likely to outperform others. Even with this data only a small percentage of C-level positions in S&P 500 companies are held by women. Not all women are finding success at high level positions. With only a quarter of senior roles within companies being held by women, what is going on with the networks and all the initiatives that have been working so hard for so long for equal opportunity for women? Something is not working. One possible solution has been offered, sponsorship. Having someone in the corner of the career minded woman, standing up with her when assignments and roles are being assigned may just give the boost to actually diversify high level positions with in companies. This may be the right approach to help advance women leaders up in the organizations the work for the way Susan McGalla was able to.

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