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Striking the Right Balance: Women at 2U on Navigating Work, Family, Education, and the Unexpected

Written by Bannon Puckett on Aug 25, 2021

Related content: Diversity And Inclusion, Leadership

Clockwise from top left: Louise Dobson, Kris Galligan, Sophie Ferderer, Jennifer Henry, Kira Hernandez

In anticipation of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, 2U honors the thousands of women within our own ranks who diligently work to make their voices heard, uplift the efforts and accomplishments of their peers, and help us continue to grow a more empowering and inclusive company culture for all women.

Today, you can learn from some of our most inspiring women 2Utes who share their perspectives and advice for navigating their day-to-day work responsibilities, their families, their passion for lifelong learning, and the inevitable surprises that pop up along the way. Here are three of their stories.

Balancing the Challenges of Childcare, a Full-Time Job, and a Global Pandemic

As the global economy continues to grapple with the lingering pandemic, one segment of the workforce continues to be more disproportionately impacted by the crisis over others: women, especially working moms. Hear from Senior Manager of Strategic Projects Louise Dobson and Senior Brand Marketing Strategist Sophia Ferderer—two women at 2U who have personally dealt with the realities of being a working mom these days—as they share their stories of doubt, growth, and resilience.

“Reach out to other working moms and normalize the conversation that motherhood is hard! I promise whatever you are going through, you are not the only one, and so many other women are ready to support you and lift you up.”—Sophia Ferderer

Building the Foundation for a Mentor-Mentee Relationship Grounded in Trust

If you ask women at the top of their field how they got to where they are today, most would say they didn’t do it alone. They’ve each built successful careers by learning from those who came before them and fostering relationships with other women. Learn what a successful mentorship relationship looks like from 2U Managing Director of Industry Insights & Impact Kira Hernandez and Senior Vice President of Workforce Engagement Jennifer Henry, who found their match three years ago and are still reaping the life-changing benefits to this day.

“The right mentor will create room for you to be your true self in all ways and help you see where you can learn and grow to get to the next exciting iteration of that self.”—Kira Hernandez

Leaning on Your Support System and Applying Cross-Learnings from Work and School

As a senior manager of student success at 2U providing support for the Harvard Business Analytics Program, Kris Galligan was balancing working full-time with completing her final term as an MBA@Rice student, while also raising two young children. At first glance, it may seem like she “does it all”—but first impressions can be deceiving. Discover how Kris has cultivated a community that helps her excel both personally and professionally, following the same advice she’s always shared with learners as a student success advisor.

“I’ve been motivated to have more intentional conversations with my direct reports and mentees related to their career paths and goals. I’m able to transform some of the boundaries I need for myself into growth opportunities for others.”—Kris Galligan

Learn more about us.

At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.