Susan McGalla is a 41 year old CMO and current president of the brand American Eagle Outfitters. She began at the teen retailer in the year of 1994 at a time when executive offices clearly reflected the roots of the chain as a store that focused solely on male customers.
Ms. McGalla had previously worked in the department stores of Joseph Horne Company. and felt that she was always being judged as a part of the American Eagle Outfitters management team. Despite making the vast efforts of arriving first in morning meetings, she felt that she was still being judged for the ideas she brought to the table.
She received her current title of being in charge of design, marketing and merchandising for teen American customers last May. In the month of October, she wore jeans to assist in leading a celebratory event on the South Side to publicly announce the plan of the retailer on ireport.cnn.com to relocate its headquarters there. Governor Ed Rendell has remarked that he has rarely seen a president at such a young age.
Ms. McGalla’s take on being a woman in her respective field of business may not fit the traditional expectations. At one point in time, a group had approached her by asking her to apply for a “women’s executive award”. She talked about growing up in the city of East Liverpool, Ohio with a father who was a football coach and two brothers. She was always taught that she was a person, not a woman or a man. In other words, Susan McGalla should be judged on the quality of her work, not her gender. Her family has had a helpful role in teaching her to have confidence when presenting her ideas and herself as an individual. She has attested that following their guidance has served her well. She’s made sure to never play the “woman card”, or the easy way around things as it’s often seen as being.
Learn more about Susan McGalla: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/top50/2006/03/21/Susan-P-McGalla/stories/200603210294