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Rachel  Simmons

Rachel Simmons

Best-Selling Author & Leadership Educator


Praised by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as “the expert on helping girls become leaders,” Rachel Simmons is a best-selling author, educator and leadership consultant helping girls and women to become more authentic, assertive, and resilient. Her most recent book, Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives, builds upon more than two decades of research to take on “supergirl” pressure, brutal self-criticism and the toxic stress culture of constant competition and comparison that today’s girls face. She also excels in applying her research and experience to help professional women build their “inner resume” through career-changing keynotes and leadership workshops.  Read More >

An experienced curriculum writer and educator, Simmons rose to worldwide attention with two groundbreaking New York Times best-sellers. Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, which was adapted into a highly acclaimed Lifetime television movie, ignited a long-overdue conversation about the hidden culture of female bullying in the age of social media. The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence focused on how girls are pressured to embrace a version of selfhood that sharply curtails their power and potential. Simmons is currently the director of the Phoebe Reese Lewis Leadership program at Smith College and is co-founder of the national nonprofit Girls Leadership.  

Simmons currently trains women leaders globally and has appeared before audiences at Google, Unilever and Nike/Converse, among others. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and numerous other publications. She serves as a parenting expert for Good Morning America

Whether speaking to parents and educators or appearing before corporate audiences, Rachel Simmons’ empowering presentations break down the research to provide practical, actionable takeaways. Sharing a contagious passion for helping women and girls succeed in school, the workplace, and life, Simmons provides game-changing insights and tactics that anyone can immediately put into practice to address challenges, leverage strengths and spark transformational change.  Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Pandemic Parenting

How to Quit Overthinking

Enough as She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible | Talks at Google

How to Help Your Teen Daughter Find Balance | GMA

Remote Learning: What Parents Need to Know | GMA

The Damage Remote Learning Can Cause | GMA

Speech Topics

Best Friends, Worst Enemies, and Everything in Between

With a refreshing mix of honesty, humor, and heart, Rachel uses her personal experiences with bullying to connect with students and share strategies to respond to psychological aggression. As she helps audiences understand the difference between true and unhealthy friendships, Rachel confronts the epidemic of denial and challenges students to take responsibility for their behavior. Girls learn that they are not alone and are encouraged to stop blaming themselves for their experiences. Rachel helps students realize that there is validity in each individual story, and that they possess the potential to effect positive change in their lives. Her extraordinary grasp of young people’s relationships is immediately apparent. “It’s like she’s inside my head,” students often say. “How does she know?” *Can be adapted for a co-ed audience.

Four Steps for Positive Confrontation

In this workshop, learn four steps to navigate a difficult conversation. Then put your tools to immediate use by scripting conversations to overcome challenges in the relationships that matter most to you.

How to Succeed Without Sacrificing Yourself

Teens have never been more anxious, stressed and depressed, and the crisis is most keenly felt in high achieving communities. In this workshop, Rachel calls out the toxic messages about achievement (“be amazing at everything you do”) students internalize and gives students tools to pursue distinction without losing their wellness in the process. When you can fail well, the world opens up to you. There’s no challenge you can’t pursue, no risk you can’t take, because you know how to get back up when you’re knocked down. Students learn tools to take healthy risks, bounce back after a setback, and redefine your beliefs about success and failure. *For single-sex and co-ed audiences.

Enough as She Is: Moving Beyond Impossible Standards

Today’s young women have never been more “successful.” They have also never been as unhappy. Between 2010 and 2015, girls’ depressive symptoms increased by 50%, more than double the rate of boys. Though outpacing male peers in GPAs and college enrollment, too many feel that, no matter how hard they try, they will never be smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough, thin enough, popular enough—the list goes on. Sound familiar? Rachel Simmons comes to the rescue. Backed by vivid case studies and two decades of research, Simmons offers a clear understanding of this devastating problem and provides practical, actionable advice for parents and educators. These include teaching girls self-compassion as an alternative to self-criticism, how to manage overthinking, resist the constant urge to compare themselves to peers, take healthy risks, navigate toxic elements of social media, prioritize self-care, and seek support when they need it. Simmons also draws parallels from her research to address the stress and self-criticism that many adult women experience navigating work and life, sharing valuable tactics to cultivate leadership skills. As Gloria Steinem said about the takeaways from Simmons book: “Enough As She Is may save millions of women from the idea that ‘having it all’ means ‘doing it all.’”

Pandemic Parenting

When our kids look back on this time, they will most remember how they felt. In this popular talk, Rachel weaves practical advice, research and humor into a talk that leaves parents recharged and inspired. Rachel teaches parents practical strategies to manage family stress so they can support their children with confidence and compassion. “During this uncertain time,” one parent wrote, “I am grateful to Rachel for providing such valuable tips to regulate and create sanity in our household.”

Pandemic Parenting: The Road Back

As parents prepare to send their children back to some version of school, students are understandably anxious about the coming transitions. How can we best support kids who are worried about leaving home and adjusting to an uncertain future? In this talk, Rachel will answer parents’ questions and teach strategies to support your family’s transition into the next chapter of pandemic parenting.

Failing Well: Strategies for Resilience & Courage

When you can fail well, the world opens up to you. There’s no challenge you can’t pursue, no risk you can’t take, because you know how to get back up when you’re knocked down. In this workshop, learn tools to take healthy risks, manage overthinking, confront imposter phenomenon, bounce back after a setback, and redefine your beliefs about success and failure.

The Art of Small Talk & Networking

Grades and hard work will take you far, but your ability to form relationships through small talk and networking can make a critical, immeasurable difference to your career – and is a vital leadership skill to boot. Learn and practice the secrets of effective small talk and networking, and learn how seemingly random conversations can open doors to new connections and opportunities, right now and after you graduate.

How Self-Compassion Makes You Braver, Happier & More Successful

Research shows that self-criticism heightens anxiety and lowers motivation, yet most people believe it’s the key to success. In this workshop, learn a researched, three-step practice to deal with setbacks, manage difficult feelings, and quiet the voice of a destructive inner critic.