Successful businesswomen succeed because they view the world and think like a business person and not as a “woman” or “man” in business. The days of gender identity in business considerations are over, at least for any woman or man who expects to succeed. Business today means approaching a problem, developing a solution and implementing it. It is this mindset which makes a woman successful in business.
Wherever one looks for advice for women to succeed in business today, the advice is gender neutral. Think big, work hard and be committed are three common threads to all books and articles telling women how to succeed. This is the same advice that is given to all people looking for success regardless of gender. When a businesswoman walks through the door, she is no longer any different from anyone else in the room regardless of what gender is stated on their birth certificate.
It does not matter what type of business is being conducted. The approach of the person and their thinking does matter. A woman (or, for that matter, a man) who goes into business with trepidation or believing that they are handicapped from the beginning will fail miserably because their thinking has handicapped them.
Susan McGalla is an example of a woman who has succeeded in business because she views all business as gender neutral. She has reported that her family never made distinctions or excuses for anyone because they happened to have a particular gender. She was raised to speak up when having something to say and to approach everyone equally and as an equal.
Susan McGalla on wikinvest has enjoyed great success with this. Her principles about business and how to deal with people led to great success with American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Although this was a virtually all male environment when she started, as a result of her focusing upon the tasks at hand, she became President of the entire company and thus began her reputation as one of the foremost branding experts in the United States.
This was followed by tenures at other companies to the point that she founded the business consulting firm P3. Now she has once again forayed into an environment which is exponentially all male: She is the Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the Pittsburgh Steelers Football Team. A Pittsburgh native and resident, she also sits on several boards of directors including HFF, Inc., the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Magee Women’s Hospital and Research Foundation.
Susan McGalla has succeeded purely on the merits of her work because she made it her focus. By making it her focus, it forced others to focus on the business, not the gender.