Faculty learn ways to better negotiate and to remain confident at work

Dr. Nancy Wayne shared her expertise in creating more female leaders during two workshops at UNM in February 2019. Wayne is a professor of physiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The first workshop was Negotiating What You Want, which was aimed at helping women faculty with developing successful negotiating strategies. In the second presentation, she spoke about the “Competence/Confidence Conundrum” and the manifestations of gender differences on confidence levels and career advancement.


Faculty at the Confidence/ Competence Conundrum with Dr. Nancy Wayne discuss questions Wayne provided to them. Photo by Makayla Grijalva /Advance at UNM.

Wayne presented the “Negotiating What You Want” workshop to women faculty and to a group of men and women academic leaders. Participants learned about research highlighting ways in which men and women generally need to employ different approaches to be successful in negotiations. Additionally, Wayne said women tend to be better at negotiating on behalf of others while men tend to be more effective negotiating for themselves. This point resonated with many of the women faculty in both sessions. Lively discussions of recent and planned negotiations took place during both sessions.


In the “Competence/Confidence Conundrum” workshop, Wayne explained how women, specifically in STEM fields, were less likely to assume leadership roles in their career. She attributed part of this phenomenon to confidence — how it is seen as an “attractive” quality in men and not as much so in women.


Wayne developed workshops partially as a result of her experiences teaching medical students. She observed that female medical students were less likely to take a leadership role in classroom discussions then men. Her research demonstrated that adding a simple phrase expressing the expectation that everyone in the class can be a leader — regardless of background or gender — doubled the number of women choosing to lead class discussions.


She also gave workshop participants advice on how they can become more confident. The techniques discussed include developing a support system of mentors, advisors, colleagues, and friends, maintaining and reviewing lists of accomplishments and compliments, and striving to recognize situations for which “good enough is good enough” for people who have perfectionist tendencies.


To learn more about Wayne and these workshops, visit her website.