Susan McGalla worked her way up the ladder in a male-dominated corporate world. She gives a lot of the credit to the way that she was raised in a family with two brothers and a dad who was a football coach. She did not get any breaks either just because she was a girl because she has to work for what she wanted, even in her own family.
McGalla worked her way up through the hierarchy of American Eagle Outfitters where all of the executives when she started were men. Before she left the company she became its president. She then founded her own executive consulting company and she is currently the Vice President of Business Strategy and Creative Development for the professional football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
McGalla is certainly talented, but she will tell you that she had to work hard for every inch. In business it is not all about whether a person is male or female, or is it? In spite of McGalla’s success, there is still a glass ceiling for most women simply because business is still a male-dominated world.
Current statistics show that businesses that foster gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to outperform companies who do not characterize that statistic, and companies that are ethnically diverse outperform the same companies by 35%. The thinking as to why this is so is that more diverse companies seem to come up with more original ideas.
It is a certainty that McGall did not work in a vacuum and that she encountered plenty of resistance when she wanted this initiative or that one implemented in her rise up the ladder. Given her background in her upbringing and her willingness to work with anyone, no matter what their gender or ethnic background, she is comfortable working with anyone who can carry their own weight and back up their ideas.
Even though Susan McGalla’s example is surely a grand encouragement for women, women are still in the position of the exception rather than the rule at getting the opportunities that many rightly deserve when it comes to the opportunity to compete. Consequently there are many companies who provide executive sponsorships to help mentor women to rise in their organizations as McGalla did.