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Speaking to the World

Rachel  Simmons

Rachel Simmons

Bullying and Leadership Expert


Rachel Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence. As an educator, Rachel works internationally to empower young women to be more authentic, assertive and self-aware. Read More >

Rachel is a Vassar graduate and Rhodes Scholar from New York. The co-founder of Girls Leadership, she is an experienced curriculum writer and educator. She currently develops leadership programs for undergraduates at the Wurtele Center for Work and Life at Smith College, and is the Tylis Family Girls Research Scholar in Residence at the Hewitt School in New York. She has previously worked as a classroom teacher in Massachusetts and South Africa.

Rachel was the host of the PBS television special, A Girl’s Life, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Atlantic and Slate. Rachel serves on the board of the College Women’s Leadership Educators affiliate of the AAUW, and is on the Council of Advisors for the Wellesley Centers for Women.

Rachel has appeared on Oprah and is a regular contributor to Good Morning America and Time. Odd Girl Out was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie. Rachel lives in western Massachusetts with her daughter. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

National Conference of College Women Student Leaders

Leadership for Rebels

A Real Girl is in Touch With her Feelings

Fear of Losing Relationships

Burden of Communication

Speech Topics

Lead with Integrity: Develop Your Inner Resume

The “inner resume” is a set of skills associated with self-awareness, self-advocacy, and the ability to deal with conflict and failure. Read More >

These psychological skills are required for real-world success, yet many young women lack these skills because they have grown up with pressure to be “good girls” and to please other people. Young women have gotten mixed messages about how powerful they are allowed to be. The result is sparkling on-paper resumes with high GPAs and extracurricular activities, but a lacking “inner resume”—being able to ask for what you need, delegate authority, take a risk, and try something you might not be good at. Rachel Simmons helps young women see their true value and build up this “inner resume.” Read Less ^

Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls

When a girl’s relationships are in trouble—due to exclusion, abusive friendships, cyber-bullying, etc.—her core sense of self is threatened. Parents feel anguished and helpless. Read More >

As an intimate observer of girls’ social world, speaker Rachel Simmons offers parents a window into the hidden culture of girls’ aggression. Every year, she empowers thousands of parents to help their daughters negotiate some of the most painful moments of their lives.

Simmons’ unparalleled experience with girls, shared in her humorous presentations, makes her a favorite of parent associations around the world. Weaving down-to-earth advice with analysis of girls’ development, Simmons provides parents with concrete strategies and scripts to help kids cope with best friends, worst enemies, and everything in between. Simmons also coaches parents on monitoring their girls’ use of social media. Presentations last one hour and are followed by 30 minutes of Q & A.

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Be You: An Interactive Parent-Daughter Workshop

In this interactive workshop for girls and parents, speaker Rachel Simmons teaches practical strategies to be confident, courageous, and authentic in relationships. Read More >

With guided questions that open up new conversations between parents and their girls, participants come away with a new language to talk about toxic friends and being true to oneself. Girls will practice communicating assertively and learn problem-solving tools with their parents that they can take with them to school the next day. With her personable, down-to-earth speaking style, Simmons keeps participants laughing, interacting, and learning.

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The Curse of the Good Girl

Learn how the pressure girls face to please others at all costs installs a glass ceiling on their social, academic, and extracurricular potential. In this lecture, speaker Rachel Simmons teaches participants strategies to help girls communicate assertively, understand their own feelings, and battle perfectionism.

BFF 2.0: Girls' Love-Hate Relationship with Social Media & How to Parent Through It

Why do girls say they don’t exist if they’re not on Facebook, yet at the same time feel they have no choice? In this hour-long talk, speaker Rachel Simmons decodes the ups and downs of girls’ online lives. Read More >

She explores the challenge of setting limits at a time when other parents seem more permissive than ever. Using the latest research on social media and youth, Simmons will share practical strategies to set limits on use, respond to cyber-bullying, and parent with authority and compassion. Read Less ^

Is She Mad At Me? Teaching Girls Relationship Management Skills

In this two-hour workshop, educators, clinicians, and other youth professionals will uncover the unwritten rules that guide girls' day-to-day social struggles and undermine their ability to maintain healthy relationships. Read More >

Speaker Rachel Simmons will teach strategies to address destructive assumption-making among peers, how to respond to the phrases “no offense” and “just kidding,” and dysfunctional responses to confrontation. She will also address conflict coping strategies. Read Less ^