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Rachel  Simmons

Rachel Simmons

Best-Selling Author & Leadership Educator

Biography

Rachel Simmons is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out, The Curse of the Good Girl, and Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives. Read More >

As a leadership development expert and coach, Rachel helps people build their resilience, amplify their voices, and own their own courage. Rachel serves on the faculty of the Google School for Leaders and was until recently the Director of the Phoebe Lewis Leadership Program at Smith College. She is co-founder of the national nonprofit Girls Leadership, and her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Atlantic, Slate, and The New York Times.

An ABC News Contributor for Good Morning America, Rachel appears often in the national media. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her daughter. 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

Unlocking Resilience: Mental Strength for Challenging Times

Should I have said that in today’s meeting? Why haven’t they emailed me back? Overthinking, or rumination, depletes motivation, problem solving skills and wellness. In this smaller, interactive workshop, participation will be limited in order to allow for discussion and skill-building. Read More >

You’ll learn more about why we overthink, how it compromises performance, and strategies to manage the behavior.

You’ll also learn a three-step practice for self-compassion, or your ability to be understanding towards yourself when you face misfortune or feel inadequate. Women are somewhat more likely to lack self-compassion, and over 1,000 studies have found that self-compassion can increase resilience and wellness, reduce shame and alleviate chronic stress -- all while helping us maintain high levels of motivation.

Participants will learn: Read Less ^

  • Current research on women and overthinking
  • Cognitive and mindfulness strategies to reduce overthinking
  • A three-step practice to increase self-compassion

How to Set Healthy Boundaries & Why It Matters

We set boundaries when we say no, enough, or stop, and also when we delegate, seek feedback and ask for more resources. Boundary setting directly affects our wellness, relationships and growth potential; it’s a crucial part of how we define who we are and where we want to go. Yet many women struggle to claim their space in the face of pressure to please others. In this session, you’ll learn and practice skills for effective limit setting, including tools to overcome the discomfort saying “no” brings to so many of us.

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.’”

Tenacious Women: Tools for Psychological Flexibility

In this lecture, learn how gender can shape our response to stress and explore strategies to stay flexible and resilient. Read More >

This session will introduce you to psychological flexibility, or your ability to adapt to fluctuating demands, reconfigure your mental resources, and shift perspective when the situation demands. We’ll also explore imposter phenomenon, or the belief that one is a fraud, even when evidence exists to the contrary. Often occurring among high achievers, or people working in fields where they are breaking barriers, imposter phenomenon can limit your confidence, risk taking and voice.

Participants will: Read Less ^

  • Learn how early socialization -- the messages we heard growing up -- can shape women’s experience in the workplace
  • Explore how stress mindsets, or the degree to which you view stress as harmful, directly affects your ability to manage it
  • Why women struggle with imposter phenomenon and tools to manage it

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.

Own Your Voice: Amplify Your Strengths & Expand Your Network

Your ability to develop high quality connections with others, and share strengths and accomplishments with colleagues, are increasingly critical to success. Research finds that networking and self-promotion can make the difference in promotions and career progress, yet they can be more challenging than ever during WFH. Read More >

In this smaller, interactive workshop, participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussion and skill building. Expect to: Read Less ^

  • Learn why some women struggle with self-promotion and networking
  • Practice creative strategies to help you share the highlights of your work
  • Learn and practice tools to develop high quality connections with others

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.