Statistics on the effect of gender diversity on the performance shows that companies embracing diversity outperform others by a margin of 15 percent. On the other hand, businesses that are all inclusive regarding ethnicity beat the rest by a margin of 35 percent. The improved performance gets attributed to the ability to consider and adopt new ideas. However, irrespective of the statistics, the number of the C-level positions held by women in S&P 500 companies is still small.
As women strive to reach high-level positions, there are those that are leading the way. Susan McGalla is among the few women who set an example for women aspiring to be leaders. She attributes her ability to lead and thrive in a male dominated society to her upbringing. She had two brothers and a dad who was a football coach. Lack of breaks as a child instilled her with the ability to work and relate with men accordingly. The childhood lessons have contributed immensely to the person she prides herself to be today. McGalla rose through the ranks at American Eagle Outfitters. During her time at the company, all the executives were men. However, she worked to become the first lady in the executive position. Before leaving the institution, she had become the President. Today, she is the vice president at Pittsburgh Steelers.
While there are still many networks and initiatives supporting women to take up these roles, the highest number of these positions are held by men. The women initiatives have hit a rock when it comes to addressing the issue of change. Therefore, if the women initiatives were the answers, the number of female executives would have gone up. It is therefore evident that they are missing the real solutions. Taking executive sponsors would go a mile higher in encouraging women and institutions to invest in women.
Making it in the world of business for a woman is a difficult task. However, women like Susan McGalla are thriving at the executive positions. McGalla has held different management positions in several companies. She was the founder of P3 Executive Consulting LLC. McGalla also held the position of CEO at The Wet Seal Inc. Her career began at American Eagle Outfitters where she rose to become the president
McGalla attended Mount Union College where she attained a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She is on the board of directors of MUC. Susan is married to Stephen McGalla.