Archive for the 'Women in Science' category

Lagging to the Top

Mar 11 2015 Published by under Women in Medicine, Women in Science

For some time I have wondered why women now comprise about half of all medical graduates, yet our leadership remains so...male (and white). A few years back I had the opportunity to found Academic Women for Equality Now to explore this issue, but the level of conversation I dreamed about never materialized there.

Now we have another opportunity.

Next week New England Journal of Medicine, via its online forum, will feature a discussion on this very issue. The discussants are listed below and, yes, I am part of the group:


POWERED BY medstro

Women Physicians in Leadership Roles: Why are we still underrepresented?


Hope Ricciotti, MD
Chair and Residency Program Director, OBGYN Dept, BIDMC
Diane McGrory, MD
Gynecologist, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
Marie Crandall, MD, MPH, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Trauma & Critical Care, Northwestern
Kim Templeton, MD
President-elect of the American Medical Women’s Association
Jana Janco
Member, Governing Council, Women's Physician Section, Delegate to the AMA
Jennifer Carter, MD, MPH
Chief Medical Officer & Founder, N-of-One
Lanalee Sam, MD
Founder, Elite Obstetrics & Gynecology
Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, MD
President Elect of the American Medical Women’s Association
Susan Pories, MD, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Nidhi Ravishankar, MD Candidate
MS2, Windsor University School of Medicine
Pascale Lane, MD
Founder, Academic Women for Equality Now
Lisa Hofler, MD, MPH
Associate, Dept of OBGYN, Emory

So tune in at on March 17 for what should be an interesting discussion!

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Half-a-Century of Discovery

May 22 2014 Published by under Women in Medicine, Women in Science

Today I posted over at Academic Women for Equality Now (, another website and blog I run. The topic was Nancy Hopkins' amazing baccalaureate address at Boston University in which she proclaims unconscious bias as one of the most important discoveries of the past 50 years.

Click on over for a quick summary and a link to the full text of her speech; I suspect it will resonate with most of my readers.

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Twenty-Fourteen Travel Begins

Just one week into the new year, and I am already on the road. As I write this post, I await the first leg of my trip to San Antonio for the alumnae group of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine for Women. This every-other-year get-together will give me a chance to learn new stuff, reconnect with friends and mentors, and renew my professional self. 

One topic for this meeting will be fashion and image. Since we would be focused on these issues, I felt compelled to dress the part. This meant some planning via a spreadsheet:


First I identified the key events for each day of my meeting. I then identified the most appropriate form of dress for those events. Since Friday will focus on fashion, it’s the day I want to shine in my nice suit. I do have some meetings on my travel days, but a nice pair of dark-wash jeans with a jacket or cardigan will work for these rather casual gatherings. The other two program days also require business attire, but not necessarily as polished as Friday. By planning items that coordinate with my suit and other accessories, I can maximize my wardrobe flexibility and minimize my luggage requirements. 

Spreadsheets are not just for accountants; they provide a great way to organize all sorts of data. 

By the way, for my friends in the north, San Antonio is supposed to be ~70 degrees while I am there. The deep-freeze should be well out of OKC by the time I get home as well. Not that I would taunt about that…well, actually, I would!

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What I Am Reading: Cake vs. Pie

Jun 12 2013 Published by under Women in Medicine, Women in Science

Really I would rather just have a spoon and a bowl of frosting. Chocolate frosting. With chocolate chips.

Love the gold fish!

Of course, this post is not really about desserts. It considers the purposes of mentoring.  I suspect that every job in the US above the fast-food server includes some sort of mentoring. Corporations and academia noted the role of informal mentoring in career success many years ago, and mentoring programs have become commonplace. Gender inequity in the workplace has been attributed, in part, to the lack of mentoring for women.  Make the Most of Mentoring: Capitalize on Mentoring and Take Your Career to the Next Level explores the components of common formal mentoring programs and contrasts them with the informal mentoring that inspired them. It's author, Susan Colantuono, founded Leading Women™.

According to Colantuono, women have not benefitted from these formal programs because they get too much CAKE and not enough PIE. Mentoring, informal or through formal programs, can provide a lot of different types of support. Most formal programs focus on CAKE:

  • Confidence
  • Aptitude/Attitude/Advice
  • Konnection to resources (yes, this took a twist to make the acronym work; get over it)
  • Encouragement

These aspects of career development are important. Too many women take themselves out of competition for new positions and assignments because they are missing these components. However, to really crack through the glass ceiling to the next level, you need PIE:

  • Performance
  • Image
  • Exposure

Performance is not just how someone performs; it also considers the performance of the business. Someone may be doing a great job, but they will never scale the heights of a corporation until they have responsibilities and demonstrate competency in operations and strategic capabilities for the core business.

Image incorporates appearance and attitude. Unless you look and act like a competent, confident professional, others will not see you moving up to the next level of leadership. This competency is more than wearing the correct clothes; vocabulary, body language, and other personal traits influence how a person is seen by others.

Exposure involves seeing how work is done at higher levels. Who makes strategic decisions? If you aspire to these positions, you need to be at the table for these sorts of activities.

The book paints a vivid picture of these differences, using real-life examples from the work world. Making the jump to academia is a bit problematic; given the broad mission of an academic health center, what is our core mission? How do I position myself close to key operations and strategy?

Buyers of the book also get access to a number of free online resources, including worksheets for those entering into mentoring relationships.

Make the Most of Mentoring provides a quick read with a new perspective on the process of grooming new leaders. Click here to learn more about Leading Women™ and the books of Susan Colantuono.


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Book, Paper, Blog

This week a perfect storm descended on me, including a book, a paper, and a blog post:

All of these deal with the ongoing gender bias in our society, but particularly in our workplaces. Yes, men are at fault, but we XX folks are not blameless, either. My full thoughts on the integration of these readings is over at Academic Women for Equality Now. Please read that post, then get the book and peruse the other materials online.

Now think about how we can overcome these subtle, less blatant issues. Comment here or at or at Zuska's place. We need to work together instead of against each other!

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More on Sponsors Plus Bonus Squee

Aug 02 2012 Published by under Women in Medicine, Women in Science

I have written before about sponsors versus mentors. Today at my other place, Academic Women for Equality Now, Rania Anderson gives her advice on this topic. Rania is President of The Way Women Work, a career and business advice site for women around the world.

Click here to read her post.

As an added bonus, a friend sent me a series of photos yesterday. A deer has been visiting a cat, and the cat's staff (some would say owner, but we who live with cats know who serves whom) took photos. As a public service, I am posting one here:

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Update and Redirection

Jun 26 2012 Published by under [Etc], Women in Medicine, Women in Science


I woke up Friday morning with a finger that was hot, swollen and tender. Obviously infected, in other words. After three days of antibiotics my wound is on the mend again. The stitches came out last night, and my left middle finger no longer sticks out like a permanent "bird."

Today I am here to point you to Academic Women for Equality Now, my other project. The current post came from the Office of Women Faculty Programs at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Under the lead of Elizabeth Travis, PhD, they developed a systematic approach to nominating and promoting women for honorific awards. Click on over and read their advice. It's good advice for anyone asked to write nominations or recommendations!

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Welcome to My Weekend

Empowering today's leaders to guide tomorrow's healthcare enterprise

I spent another weekend (OK, a long, Thursday through Sunday weekend) on the road in Philadelphia. This time I attended the first meeting of a group now called Women Executives in Science & Healthcare (WESH).  This group consists of men and women who have middle- and upper-level management positions in academic medicine and dentistry and public health. As part of our recent rebranding, we developed the following definition:

Integrated network of executive leaders in healthcare & science across the academic health enterprise

We want to bridge the walls between disciplines both within and outside of academia. We hope to attract C-suite women in healthcare: Chief Legal Officers, Chief Medical Officers, and others in healthcare management who do not necessarily have a healthcare or science degree. Managers in biotech and pharma will also be interested in the networking opportunities provided by this group.

The educational portion of the Spring Summit, dedicated to Renewal and Redirection, can be found here. While not the largest gathering of twitterati on the planet, a handful of folks provided enough thoughts to produce this Storify:

[<a href="" target="_blank">View the story "WESH Spring Summit 2012" on Storify</a>]<br /> <h1>WESH Spring Summit 2012</h1> <h2>Women Executives in Science &amp; Healthcare is an integrated network of executive leaders in healthcare &amp; science across the academic health enterprise. We held our Spring Summit May 4-6 in Philadelphia, dedicated to our theme, Renew &amp; Redirect. </h2> <p>Storified by Pascale Lane &middot; Mon, May 07 2012 13:23:18</p> <div><a target="_blank" href="">Meeting Program</a></div> <div> <h2>Friday, May 4: Opening Reception</h2> </div> <div>Shopping for our cause. #WESH12 Lane</div> <div>With a nice spread of finger food and wine, we chatted and shopped for our renamed group.</div> <div> <h2>Saturday, May 5</h2> </div> <div>Summit beginning with Janet Bickel addressing Resilience. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>At this stage our careers less like juggling, more like gardening an unruly plot, trying to make it grow. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Success and failure are not necessarily opposites. May be self-defined. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Janet Bickel addressing our full conference room. #WESH12 Lane</div> <div>&quot;No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up with events.&quot; Janet Bickel #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Success = (Purpose x Talent)^Culture - Janet Bickel #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Looking for logic in all the wrong places = major mojo killer. M Goldsmith #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Next up: Ann Bonham, first female Chief Science Officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges</div> <div>Know that you are always being evaluated. Ann Bonham #WESH12WESH</div> <div>RT @WomenESH: What do you want to be known for? Ann Bonham #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Power networking at #WESH12 Follow @WomenESH for more info. Lane</div> <div>After the break, it's time for our presidential address.</div> <div>President Elisabeth Kunkel addresses #WESH12WESH</div> <div>After lunch, we are back to the program</div> <div>Robert Taylor and Karen Novielli discuss hiring, firing and moving people on. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Great case discussions on hiring and firing issues. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>Business meeting, open to all registered participants</div> <div>Business meeting now, then dinner. Middle eastern food tonight! #WESH12WESH</div> <div>New president is Elizabeth Travis of MD Anderson. #WESH12WESH</div> <div> <h2>Sunday, May 6</h2> </div> <div>Gen X and beyond by @JenLLane today. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Great Job today by @JenLLane speaking at the Women Executives in Leadership &amp; Healthcare Conference! #WESH12Philly PR Girl</div> <div>@kevinknebl speaking about linkedIn at #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Working on a Sunday is sometimes worth it! Listening to @kevinknebl speak about #SocialMedia at the #WESH12 meeting.Philly PR Girl</div> <div>It doesn't matter what u do, ure long-term success is based on relationships #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Social media platforms are communication tools, nothing more. #WESH12WESH</div> <div>Great advice from Kevin Knebl about social networking. #WESH12Pascale Lane</div> <div>LinkedIn is the largest business database in the world. Ur profile is ur business card. #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Change ur public profile url to ur name and place under email signature #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>Add a video showing who u are on linkedIn profile to show experience and who u are #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div> <div>LinkedIn has its own seo build in #WESH12Jennifer Lane</div>Want to know more about WESH or think you might want to join? Click the links and learn more at our brand-spanking-new web site!

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A Brief Interlude

Apr 30 2012 Published by under Women in Medicine, Women in Science

First, a hearty thanks to all who read my posts from Experimental Biology. Blogging a meeting was a challenging yet fun experience. It enhanced my experience, and I hope it gave those "reading at home" some new information.

I flew home on Wednesday and went out again on Thursday for a committee meeting in Washington, DC, arriving back in Oklahoma on Friday about midnight. I am now covering the inpatient service until Thursday...when I leave town again.

I have another post or two from EB waiting for me to organize my material.

In the meantime, I finally solved a problem over on my site Academic Women for Equality Now. I wanted to share a 10+ MB PDF that contains women leadership scores for every college of medicine (COM) in the US. That file exceeds the upload/download capabilities of my web host. Today's post over there provides links to access the file in Google Docs. I hope you will all click on over and download the file. If you work at a COM in the book, please share it's status with your leadership. I hear a lot of COM deans et al state that their place is doing fine. They have female faculty and some in leadership positions. Until they see where each COM stands in relationship to the others in the country, they can't really know how they are doing.

Stay tuned; I will be back with more science and other stuff later in the week.

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Waltzing Matilda Needs to Run!

Apr 03 2012 Published by under Women in Science

I posted over at another of my sites about an interesting paper I read on the Matilda Effect in STEM awards.

Not this Matilda

Who is Matilda? She's related to Matthew of biblical fame. Lines from this gospel essentially state that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In STEM disciplines, this means that more successful senior people get more grants, awards, and accolades, even if younger, less-known investigators propose similar ideas. Matilda refers to the tendency of people to recognize the work of men (like Watson and Crick) but marginalize the contributions of women (like Rosalind Franklin).

So click on over and read about this study of awards to men and women in a variety of STEM fields from 1991-2010. People still blame the lack of women in the pipeline, but this work suggests that hypothesis is wrong!


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