Susan McGalla’s Success as an Individual and a Woman

Susan McGalla is most famous for her role as the former president of American Eagle Outfitters. When she first started working for the company in 1994 there was a male-dominated culture both in the corporate office and in the demographic the company was trying to reach. This didn’t matter to McGalla as she had confidence in herself as a person. She knew that the business would be evaluating her ideas and her hard work, not her gender.

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She held various managerial positions within the company as she rose through the ranks to eventually become its president and Chief Merchandising Officer. She is an internationally recognized businesswoman and female success story. If you speak to McGalla, though, her gender isn’t what she wants people to focus on. She has famously said, “I never played the woman card.”


According to, while this may not sit well with some women’s groups, McGalla’s attitude has propelled her to the top of her industry. Growing up in East Liverpool, Ohio with two brothers and a father who was a football coach, she was never given any special treatment because she was a girl. She also learned to be comfortable and confident when working with either men or women, which was an integral part of her success in management. McGalla was taught the value of hard work and being evaluated as an individual by her family as she grew up. She was taught that anyone can make it in life regardless of their gender or circumstances if they only tried hard enough and presented their ideas well.


Today Susan McGalla is running her own consulting firm which she founded called P3 Executive Consulting. She shares her knowledge and expertise with top companies in the retail industry. Never satisfied to rest on what she has already achieved, she continues to add value to the business world and be an example to women and girls everywhere that they can succeed in the corporate world just like she did.