Dr. Nancy Wayne

Scientist, Educator & Speaker

One More Way That Women Are Getting Screwed During the Coronavirus Pandemic Shutdown

During this time of physical isolation and stay-at-home orders, who takes on the lioness’ share of house and family care? Women, of course. This extends into the world of academia, … Continue reading

May 4, 2020 · Leave a comment

Beware the Hollow Promise of For-Profit Colleges

Amid the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders that started in March 2020, many thousands of prospective students have been opening letters from colleges and universities, hoping … Continue reading

April 20, 2020 · Leave a comment

Male Overconfidence: The Global Pandemic Edition

I was struck by an article posted on March 27, 2020 titled, “U.S. men less likely to heed health warnings as coronavirus death toll mounts: Reuters Poll”. This gendered difference … Continue reading

April 1, 2020 · Leave a comment

Catalysts for Your Career

As an educator, I sometimes like to attend random classes to see how my colleagues approach teaching complicated subjects. It gives me ideas of how I can improve my own … Continue reading

March 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

When the Executive Job Search and Values Collide

I recently was invited to a semi-finalist interview for an academic leadership position at a liberal arts college. I did my homework in advance. I reviewed the college website and … Continue reading

February 3, 2020 · Leave a comment

Applying SMART Goals to Your Career and Life

Recently, I’ve been hearing about using the SMART Goal approach to help organize, design, and provide accountability to your personal and organizational strategic planning. I hadn’t used it in the … Continue reading

January 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

On Overcoming Obstacles from Women Who Have Been There

I recently spent 9 glorious days in tropical paradise with 11 amazing, accomplished women (including a neurologist, a nurse, a computer engineer, an organizational psychologist, social workers, etc.). We didn’t … Continue reading

December 2, 2019 · Leave a comment

Grade School Wage Gap: Gender Differences in Negotiation and Self-Worth Start Young

It is well documented that there is a persistent gender pay gap in the U.S., with women being paid around 20% less than men based on median, full-time earnings (Hegewisch, … Continue reading

November 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

CEOs in Higher Education: Few Women and Unexpected Pay Gaps

There has been a lot of discussion about the gender pay gap across all work sectors, with a recent report showing that women overall were paid 81 cents on the … Continue reading

October 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Successful Negotiating Using the “Communal Orientation” Approach

By not negotiating successfully, women stand to lose more than $500,000 by age 60. Further, there are other costs of not negotiating, including: less visibility in your organization; less opportunities … Continue reading

September 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Women Leaders During Times of Crisis

In times of crisis, who are you going to trust to lead you into a more positive and stable future? Research shows that there is actually a female leadership advantage … Continue reading

August 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Effective Executive Leadership

The American Council of Education (ACE) Fellows Program describes itself as the “nation’s premier higher education leadership development program preparing senior leaders to serve American colleges and universities.” I spent … Continue reading

July 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Reinventing Yourself: Activating Your Plan B

Sometimes, you can see the crisis coming. For me, it was a shift in funding priorities at the National Institutes of Health which meant that, sooner or later – probably … Continue reading

June 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

“Contrapower Harassment”: Women in Power and the Subordinates Who Oppress Them

Women in positions of authority or leadership face a double bind. In order to be perceived as an authority figure or leader, they must demonstrate competence and confidence, and be … Continue reading

May 2, 2019 · Leave a comment

Pearls of Wisdom from Executive Leaders

During the past 7+ months, I have had the tremendous opportunity to learn leadership in action through an American Council on Education (ACE) fellowship. I have been spending my sabbatical … Continue reading

April 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

And You Thought Your Chosen Profession was Challenging: Doing Science While Being Chased by Nazis

While compiling information about the 19 female Nobel Prize winners in the sciences for my previous blog – all remarkable women – I was struck by the story of one scientist … Continue reading

March 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Celebrating Women Nobel Prize Winners in the Sciences

Since 1903 with Marie Curie, there have been 19 women who have won the Nobel Prize in the scientific areas of Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine – 20 if … Continue reading

February 4, 2019 · Leave a comment

Words matter: Gender bias in performance evaluations hurt women’s career advancement

The dreaded workplace performance evaluation. It’s painful to give, painful to receive – but essential for career advancement. Recent studies show that women receive vague and unhelpful feedback compared to … Continue reading

January 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Gender discrimination in STEM – a case of “Foot-in-Mouth Syndrome”

I’m always taken by surprise at the male-chauvinistic, clueless, cringe-worthy comments that some male scientists make OUTLOUD and in very PUBLIC forums. Here is a recent example of a male … Continue reading

December 3, 2018 · Leave a comment

Bringing Women to the Party: A Time Line of Women in the House of Representatives

Women have made tremendous strides in political leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives over the past 50 years — but, only in one party. Although the election results for … Continue reading

November 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Let Women Into the Money Room, It’s Good For Business!

Demonstrating financial acumen is critical to achieving career success at the executive leadership level. However, women are often shutout from projects and positions that get them into “the money room” … Continue reading

November 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Your New Job (or New Hire): Onboarding for Success

Onboarding, or the process of integrating a new employee into an organization, is something that some academic institutions have taken a long time to embrace – if they do it … Continue reading

October 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Gender Pay Gap: Female Physicians Are Not Winning

The compensation needle is moving for female physicians – but, in the wrong direction. The 2018 Physician Compensation Report by Doximity was released in March, and it is not an … Continue reading

September 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Making of a College CEO: Different Paths for Women and Men

In academia, men can reach the presidency through a number of different pathways, but women have fewer options. In a recent article posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, analysts … Continue reading

August 21, 2018 · Leave a comment

Woman of the House: When the Primary Breadwinner Comes in Second

You’re doing business with someone, but they bypass you and go to your husband. Three short examples from my own life, but are likely to be common occurrences. Is this … Continue reading

June 1, 2018 · 5 Comments

Teaching Spatial Skills to Women Increases Success in STEM Disciplines

I have the well-deserved reputation for not being able to find my way out of a paper bag. For 20 years, my office was located along a nondescript, super-long hallway. … Continue reading

May 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

YOU Can Help Solve the “Manel” Problem

A lot has been written about the “manel” problem in the past few years. For those of you not in the know, a manel refers to the ubiquitous all-male (or … Continue reading

April 2, 2018 · 2 Comments

Put-Downs from the Patriarchy

I am a tenured Full Professor at a Tier 1 Research University. I have a solid reputation as an educator, scientist, and academic administrator. I have received honors and awards … Continue reading

March 7, 2018 · 4 Comments

Practice, Practice, Practice Naming Your Skills and Accomplishments!

One of the most popular workshops that I give as part of my Women Advancing Together workshop series is The Importance of Self-Promotion (also the topic of a previous blog). … Continue reading

March 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mentoring, Part 3: Guiding Women in STEM Careers

On January 18, 2018, I was invited to Cal State University-Dominguez Hills to participate in a day-long faculty and staff development symposium called “Courageous Conversations” where I gave three workshops. … Continue reading

February 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Myth That Women are Bad Drivers Dispelled

I hear it with regularity – women are terrible drivers. But, what is the evidence that supports this stereotype? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s annual accident report (1), … Continue reading

January 25, 2018 · 1 Comment

Flipping the Typical Gender Hiring Practice: Interview with Victoria Sork, Dean of UCLA Life Sciences Division

Professor Nancy Wayne, President of Women Advancing Together, conducted a gender analysis of new hires into tenure-track and tenured faculty positions throughout UCLA from academic years 2011-2015. What stood out … Continue reading

January 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

Mentoring, Part 2: What Is Your Proudest Mentoring Moment?

In Part 1 of this series, I asked Professors Jill Schneider, Julie Miwa, and Jennifer Swann of the Department of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University about their proudest mentoring moments. … Continue reading

December 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Mentoring, Part I: Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor

Mentoring young researchers is an expected part of the responsibilities of faculty and more senior researchers in academia. As far as I can tell, there is no other business in … Continue reading

November 13, 2017 · Leave a comment

The Importance of Saying “No”

A friend of mine, Dr. MD-PhD, is the director of a research organization made up of about a dozen different research programs, each headed by a principal investigator. In addition, … Continue reading

October 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Leadership Series: Common Themes That Inspire

The Women in Leadership blog series is comprised of interviews with women in leadership positions in academia, the arts, philanthropy and public service. Looking through the five interviews, it became … Continue reading

September 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Leadership Series: Interview with Christine “Chris” Essel. President and Chief Executive Officer of Southern California Grantmakers

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with women leaders that aim to inspire, motivate, and provide useful tips for advancing your career towards becoming a leader in … Continue reading

August 1, 2017 · 1 Comment

Women in Leadership Series: Interview with Dr. Devorah Lieberman. President of University of La Verne, La Verne, CA

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with women leaders that aim to inspire, motivate, and provide useful tips for advancing your career towards becoming a leader in … Continue reading

July 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Leadership Series: Interview with Lori Bettison-Varga, PhD. President and Director of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

This is the third in a series of interviews with women leaders that aim to inspire, motivate, and provide useful tips for advancing your career towards becoming a leader in … Continue reading

June 6, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Leadership Series: Interview with Laura Zucker. Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission

This is the second in a series of interviews with women leaders that aim to inspire, motivate, and provide useful tips for advancing your career towards becoming a leader in … Continue reading

May 14, 2017 · 4 Comments

Women Interrupted

Two colleagues are discussing a work plan to improve retention of the most talented and productive employees in their organization. Colleague A: “Where have you been all week? We have … Continue reading

April 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Women in Leadership Series: Interview with Kelsey C Martin, MD, PhD. Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

This is the first in a series of interviews with women leaders that aim to inspire, motivate, and provide useful tips for advancing your career towards becoming a leader in … Continue reading

February 13, 2017 · 2 Comments

Notes from the Women’s March on Washington: “Tell me what democracy looks like!”

“THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!!” This call-and-response chant was an often repeated mantra throughout the march. My absolute favorite chant shouted by a small group of woman organizers with … Continue reading

January 23, 2017 · Leave a comment

“What Is Your Current Salary?” How Not Negotiating Your First Salary Could Haunt You for Your Entire Career

Less than a year ago, I was interviewed by an executive search firm for a high level administrative position at a research university. After a long discussion about my various … Continue reading

January 4, 2017 · Leave a comment

“the women of this world are constantly fighting against a hatred that men do not see”

Not my typical blog. I want to draw your attention to an important article published on December 8, 2016 on Vox.com by Emily Crocket, titled “A husband and wife each … Continue reading

December 9, 2016 · Leave a comment

Deficits in Leadership Advancement for Competent Women

Once upon a time, there was a pipeline problem for women advancing to the top of their fields because there were so few women at the entry level. That is … Continue reading

November 4, 2016 · Leave a comment


There are periods in our lives where it seems that every time we roll out of bed, we need to gird ourselves for battle. Battle at work, battle at home, … Continue reading

October 3, 2016 · 1 Comment

Striving for Balance: My Work, My Life

Since becoming a faculty member in 1992, it took me nearly 20 years to feel that my work was in balance with the rest of my life. I will briefly … Continue reading

September 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

A Real Life Story: The Self-Promoting Jerk Steals the Spotlight

It’s said that truth is stranger than fiction, and there are countless examples. Here’s a true story that really irked me when I first heard about it, and continues to … Continue reading

August 7, 2016 · Leave a comment

The Bully Pulpit: Bullies in the Workplace and How to Protect Yourself

If you thought you were safe from bullying once you left the Lord of the Flies environment of the school playground (or wherever your childhood/adolescent horrors took place), think again. … Continue reading

July 1, 2016 · Leave a comment

Organizing Your Two-Minute Elevator Speech: The PAR Approach

Formula for elevator pitch to promote yourself

June 1, 2016 · Leave a comment


Easy matrix and guidelines to help you prioritize

May 2, 2016 · 1 Comment

Leadership in Academic Medicine: Too Many Mustaches, Not Enough Women

Gender disparity in leadership positions

January 20, 2016 · Leave a comment

Getting Ahead: The Importance of Self-Promotion

Guide to self promotion for women

December 9, 2015 · 4 Comments

Sexist Peer Review of Manuscript Authored by Two Female Scientists is NOT an Isolated Incident

Sexist peer review of manuscripts and grant applications is widespread

May 3, 2015 · Leave a comment

Gender bias in leadership: Building an “identity safe environment” to combat stereotype threat

“Stereotype threat” is the fear that an individual‘s performance will justify a negative stereotype of whatever group with which the individual identifies; this fear then affects performance in a direction … Continue reading

April 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Competence/Confidence Conundrum

How to boost your confidence to match your skills and expertise

March 22, 2015
Dear Mr. President

Keeping me awake at night


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