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Women in Tech: Meet Kaileigh Witczak, a 2U Web Production Manager Who Leads Through Empowerment

Written by Womxn's Alliance Network (W.A.N.) on Mar 4, 2022

Related content: Diversity And Inclusion, Life at 2U

EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout March, in celebration of Women’s History Month, our “A Day in the Life” series highlights leading women in tech who are members of 2U’s Womxn’s Alliance Network (W.A.N.).


Kaileigh Witczak realized her passion for web development in middle school while coding layouts for some of the most popular social networks at the time: MySpace and Xanga. Little did she know that the skills she used to create beautiful, clean-cut pages would be the same skills she used to jump start her career in tech. But while the path to becoming a tech professional has been natural for Kaileigh, pursuing her ambitions has not come without its obstacles—Kaileigh has challenged stereotypes in the tech industry every step of the way.

Early on in her career, Kaileigh recognized that as a woman in tech, she needed to prove her worth in ways that her majority male colleagues did not. She had to showcase her coding savvy and go above and beyond to exemplify her extensive knowledge. Determined, Kaileigh found success in taking bold action to set herself apart and make her voice heard. Looking back, that success was in large part thanks to supportive women in her personal and professional life, says Kaileigh. That’s why she strives to pay it forward and empower other women in tech.

Now, as a web production manager on 2U’s Integrated Marketing Ops team, Kaileigh has found her niche in management, where she can both flex her coding and leadership skills.

A woman dedicated to supporting other women, Kaileigh is a model member of W.A.N. We sat down with her to learn more about her journey at 2U, what it’s like to be a woman in tech, and to learn what Women’s HIstory Month means to her.

We’re so proud to have you as a member, Kaileigh! Thanks for sharing your journey with us today. Let’s begin with your origin story. After completing your Bachelor’s in New Media & Communication Technology at The Ohio State University, you launched your career as a front-end web developer at Abercrombie & Fitch and were soon after promoted to web technology manager. What brought you to 2U?

Throughout my career, I’ve worked in user experience and web development, and have found enjoyment in being a part of major tool migrations and implementing process improvements. As I’ve progressed down the management path, I’ve realized my passion for influencing decisions around both. A former coworker of mine recommended I apply for a web production manager role at 2U where I would be able to further develop my skills around project and team management. When I met the people I would work alongside, 2U instantly became my top employer choice. I found both comfort and a much-needed challenge in knowing that I’d be able to work with intelligent people to influence decisions and implement process improvements.

As a member of Ohio State’s co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, Kaileigh was able to take part in a very special graduation day privilege: Go up to the university’s bell tower and ring the Victory Bell.

That’s not surprising—we often hear how team dynamics impact a decision to apply. We’re glad you were able to find the team meant for you. As a web production manager, can you describe what an average day is like for you?

For starters, no two days are ever the same! I spend the majority of my time managing my team’s projects and keeping us on deadline. It’s important to me to make sure I’m giving realistic timeline expectations to partners, whether it be an update to a website, a new program launch, or a new project. I also meet with each of the web producers I manage one-on-one every week to give them a safe space for questions and open conversations.

Lately, I’ve found myself saying that process is my passion. A streamlined process helps support 2U’s mission in ensuring that we’re delivering the best possible experience to every student across all of our websites.

We love hearing about your enthusiasm for creating a great student experience and leading your team. You work in what’s known to be a male-dominated field: tech. How would you describe your journey as a woman in tech? What challenges have you overcome and what is your advice for women who are also pursuing a tech career?

I’m proud of myself for getting to where I am as a female in tech. In my first job as a web developer, all of my resources for coding help were men. As a woman, I constantly felt that I had to prove my knowledge of coding, which is hard to do when you can code something completely different from someone else and still have the same result.

I would encourage any woman interested in tech to not let anyone intimidate you. Speaking out about something you would do differently to be more efficient is how I have succeeded, and without using my voice as a woman, I would not be where I am today.

That advice is so inspiring, Kaileigh. So many women in tech have stories like your own, so we appreciate your candidness. At 2U, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as a woman in tech?

Regardless of who you are, you were hired for a reason—your opinion and expertise matter. When working remotely, it’s easy to stay on mute and not participate. I quickly learned that if I didn't ask questions, processes would move forward and my concerns wouldn’t be addressed. Because of this, I try to ask any and all questions whenever I can to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Kaileigh is tech and more: Here she is hiking through Redwoods National Park in California.

That dedication to acting is exactly what makes you such an asset to W.A.N. Speaking of W.A.N., how does your membership and involvement in 2U’s Business Resource Network dedicated to women and allies help inform your work at 2U?

Having a space to network with other women through W.A.N. has been invaluable. I often find myself pleasantly surprised by the amount of enlightening information shared within our group and the many ways in which we connect over common interests and books. I’m really excited to see what’s to come for W.A.N. in 2022!

We love having you as a part of our community! W.A.N.’s mission revolves around uplifting women. What’s one of the most memorable or inspiring moments you’ve experienced while supporting and/or advocating for women?

Since becoming a manager, I’ve learned that good advice is the best support I can give. My previous team members still reach out for personal and career advice, and I love mentoring them. Once, I encouraged a woman on my team to pursue a master's degree in UX design, and to find a career in what interested her most. To this day, it’s a memory I reflect back on as one of my proudest moments. She took my advice to change her professional momentum.

Wow, that’s powerful. As you know, March is Women’s History Month. How is this observance personally meaningful to you, and how do you see it inspiring you in your work at 2U?

My sister has always been my inspiration when it comes to advocating for women. Her knowledge, experience, and confidence have influenced both my personal and professional decisions. Without her, I’m not sure if I would have the drive I have to help women succeed as much as I do today. Her positive influence, along with my mother’s guidance and my participation in W.A.N., have given me strong women to look up to and learn from, and I hope to be that resource for someone one day.

Kaileigh (left) with her sister

Your passion for helping other women is so clear. On that note, let’s wrap up with some advice for women who may be interested in a career at 2U—any immediate thoughts come to mind?

COVID has changed the job industry in a way I never thought possible. Now is a great time to go after a career that is out of your comfort zone and leverage transferable skills you may have. To any woman trying to get into tech or leadership roles: Try not to get in your own head. A statistic commonly quoted is that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women only apply if they meet 100% of them. We as women need to stop getting in our own way of success. Apply for the job and show your confidence in yourself!


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