Dr. Nancy Wayne

Scientist, Educator & Speaker

Is Your Sense of Loyalty Being Exploited at Work?

In the book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt describes his research involving five foundations of moral psychology: care, … Continue reading

March 1, 2023 · Leave a comment

Stealing Women’s Words and the Phenomenon of “Hepeating”

In my former life as a medical school professor, I would often be the only woman in a meeting, or maybe one of a few. What happened regularly, and frustratingly, … Continue reading

February 1, 2023 · Leave a comment

The Broken U.S. Healthcare System, Long COVID, and Its Disproportionate Impact on Women 

I had previously written about the failure of the United States healthcare system when it comes to caring for pregnant and postnatal women in “The Maternal Mortality Rate in the … Continue reading

January 9, 2023 · 1 Comment

Institutional Betrayal

Although institutional betrayal (Smith and Freyd, 2014) occurs across all business sectors and sizes of organizations, there is something especially egregious when it happens in higher education institutions. That’s because … Continue reading

December 1, 2022 · Leave a comment

My Dog Who Hates the Snow and a Season of Gratitude

November 20, 2022. It was the first “real” snow of the season. The kind that kept coming down for hours while we were asleep. The kind where you wake up … Continue reading

November 21, 2022 · Leave a comment

Gender Equity and the Problem with Performative Allyship

Several years ago, I started noticing that long-standing programs aimed at dismantling gender bias recognized that they needed the guys to get involved to move the needle towards creating an … Continue reading

November 2, 2022 · Leave a comment

What If You are Not the Problem?

There was a time when professional development training for faculty and staff was all the rage in higher education and other businesses. In fact, I built a business providing professional … Continue reading

October 3, 2022 · Leave a comment

When Death Comes for Someone You Love, Surround Yourself with Love and Friendship

This is a brief recounting of the power of friendship and community during a time of mourning. I was vacationing recently with eight girlfriends in Iceland, two weeks after my … Continue reading

September 6, 2022 · 2 Comments

Coach Kara Lawson’s Awesome Advice on Handling Hard Better

In early July, one of my friends posted on a group text message a link to a “Nice motivational speech to start your day.” There are ten of us from … Continue reading

August 1, 2022 · Leave a comment

The Wisdom of Low-Heeled Women

In mid-June, I went to my first in-person conference since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like so many other events, the Michigan American Council on Education (MI-ACE) Women’s Network annual conference … Continue reading

July 5, 2022 · 2 Comments

Silencing the Whistleblower: When the Harasser Plays the Victim

There is a special type of harasser who becomes so offended by either their victim standing up for themselves or a witness holding them accountable for their abuse that they … Continue reading

June 1, 2022 · 5 Comments

Impact of Anti-Abortion Laws on All of Us

There has been a lot of news and discussion regarding the pending doom of the 50-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling that makes abortion legal in the United States. I now … Continue reading

May 9, 2022 · 2 Comments

The Great Pivot: An Unexpected Retirement

When I was a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow, my career aspirations were focused on becoming principal investigator of a research laboratory and professor at a research-intensive university. I landed … Continue reading

May 2, 2022 · Leave a comment

How to Request a Favor Gracefully

I volunteer for a local nonprofit organization, Circles of Washtenaw County, with a mission to permanently lift families out of poverty.  Our approach is to build relationships across the socio-economic divide and … Continue reading

April 4, 2022 · Leave a comment

What’s in a Name? Gender Bias That Impacts Job Prospects and Even Product Purchasing.

For people who are familiar with English/French/Western languages, I have an unambiguously female first name. I have never seen a “Nancy” being used as a male name, which is very … Continue reading

March 1, 2022 · Leave a comment

That’s Disgusting! The Impact of Gender and Habituation on Squeamishness.

I was listening recently to a New York Times podcast written by Molly Young on “How Disgust Explains Everything”. I had no idea that there is an entire and long-standing … Continue reading

February 1, 2022 · Leave a comment

The Joke’s on You: Gender Bias in How Humor is Perceived

I think of myself as having a good sense of humor. I like to laugh, and I often use humor as a way of connecting with people during work and … Continue reading

December 1, 2021 · 5 Comments

Give Thanks This Thanksgiving with a Gratitude Visit

In the Spring of 2021, I took Yale Professor Lauri Santos’ popular online course, The Science of Well-Being (a.k.a., The Yale Happiness Course). I felt that I was already happy, and this … Continue reading

November 1, 2021 · 2 Comments

When Succession Planning Goes Awry and They Want You to Come to the Rescue

This is a true story about a woman friend of mine who, many years ago, found herself in the exciting position of being invited to be the inaugural director of … Continue reading

October 1, 2021 · Leave a comment

Harassed While Working on a Research Project About…Harassment

Several months ago, I received an intriguing email from Rana DellaRocco, M.S., M.P.H., D-ABC, who is Director of Forensic Science Division in the Baltimore Police Department. She had read my … Continue reading

September 1, 2021 · 1 Comment

Networking in an Uncertain World

The COVID-19 pandemic combined with socio-political strife in the United States (and other parts of the world) have had a huge impact on everything in our lives—including uncertainty about who … Continue reading

August 2, 2021 · 2 Comments

Can a Friendship Survive Across the Political and Pandemic Divides?

I have a woman colleague who is also my friend. I’ll call her Anne (not her real name). That is often the way in academia—working closely together can lead to … Continue reading

July 7, 2021 · 2 Comments

Arts & Sciences, a Middle-Aged Love Story

As a scientist, I try to approach everything rationally, even finding love. Most dating websites require that you fill out lots of questions about yourself so that their algorithm can … Continue reading

June 1, 2021 · Leave a comment

Are You Suffering from Systemic Exhaustion? You are Not Alone.

The pandemic has amplified and exacerbated problems that already existed in nearly every facet of our lives. In this article, I will focus on that special type of weariness and … Continue reading

May 10, 2021 · Leave a comment

The Four “I’s” of Oppression

On March 6, 2021, I attended the Diversity in Medicine online conference hosted by University of Michigan Medical School students. This was an eye-opening and powerful learning forum. It is where I was … Continue reading

April 1, 2021 · Leave a comment

The Many Blessings of Strong Friendships–Including Health and Longevity

I am blessed with many close friends who live near and far. Some of my closest friendships go back decades to when I was a child, and others are more … Continue reading

March 1, 2021 · 1 Comment

Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?

Recently, a colleague told me that she was considering enrolling in an Executive MBA program at her university where she is a tenured professor and associate dean. She thought that … Continue reading

February 1, 2021 · Leave a comment

The Conservation of Wretchedness and Hope for a Good New Year

I have learned many life lessons from my various mentors. Some of these lessons were of practical value and others were more philosophical in nature. But one of them was … Continue reading

December 31, 2020 · 8 Comments

Bringing Your Authentic Self to Work

Many people feel that they have to wear a mask at work—and I am not talking about the kind that decreases the risk of spreading infectious disease. I am talking … Continue reading

December 1, 2020 · Leave a comment

The Case for Women Physicians—Better Patient Outcomes

Recent research shows that under the care of women physicians, there are better patient outcomes regardless of patient gender. And in some cases, this is a matter of life-and-death. In … Continue reading

November 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

The Maternal Mortality Rate in the U.S. is Worsening—Especially for Black Women

Last month, I received a phone call from Amber Noelle, creator of the podcast Agenda Us Now inviting me to discuss research on healthcare disparities that impact the Black community … Continue reading

October 5, 2020 · 1 Comment

Black Women in Higher Education, Part 4: Common Themes of Racism at Work

In this fourth blog of the series on Black Women in Higher Education, I highlight three common themes that emerged from the previous blogs in this series: Black women have … Continue reading

August 25, 2020 · Leave a comment

Black Women in Higher Education, Part 3. “I was being held accountable in ways in which my peers were not.”

Women Advancing Together blogs have been aimed at a broad audience and applied especially to women in academia. The following is the third in a series in which I focus … Continue reading

August 18, 2020 · Leave a comment

Black Women in Higher Education, Part 2. “Think about things from a broader perspective.”

Women Advancing Together blogs have been aimed at a broad audience and applied especially to women in academia. The following is the second in a series in which I focus … Continue reading

August 11, 2020 · Leave a comment

Black Women in Higher Education, Part 1. “Change yourself, change the system.”

Women Advancing Together blogs have been aimed at a broad audience and applied especially to women in academia. The following is the first in a series in which I focus … Continue reading

August 4, 2020 · Leave a comment

The Vacuum of Childcare for Working Parents

Employers (and the government) are not adequately dealing with an ongoing problem associated with the COVID-19 pandemic: many daycare facilities, summer camps, and K-12 schools are not opening any time … Continue reading

July 1, 2020 · 2 Comments

Balancing Wikipedia’s Gender Imbalance

Wikipedia has a gender imbalance problem. According to Rachael Allen in her recent Washington Post article, only 18% of Wikipedia’s biographies are about women. And according to Wikipedia,  a 2015 … Continue reading

June 1, 2020 · Leave a comment

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 · 2 Comments

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 · 1 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 women 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 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

Having Trouble Prioritizing? Use ‘The Matrix’ to Sort it Out!

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

Media U

Mark Cooper and John Marx write about universities.

To Live and Drive in LA

Driving Advice for Lost Angelenos


books and things.


INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)


rock and roll