Celebrating Women’s History Month


At the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau we are thrilled to represent some of the most acclaimed female author speakers who motivate and inspire audiences across the globe. From bestselling authors and social justice activists, to business leaders and award-winning journalists, our female motivational speakers believe in their causes and take audiences with them on their mission.

Bestselling Authors

Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail has been a mainstay on the New York Times bestseller list since it was published in 2012. Wild came to the big screen in 2014 with the opening of Jean-Marc Vallée’s adaptation of the book starring Reese Witherspoon. The movie earned rave reviews and numerous award nominations.

Strayed’s deeply personal story about her journey of loss and recovery, inspires audiences around the world. Her lectures sparkle with warmth and candor as she tells how one impulsive decision turned her life around. Strayed is an ideal speaker for corporations, universities, associations, lecture series, and any venue looking to motivate their audience with a brave and exceptional voice.

Cheryl Strayed

Author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild and “Dear Sugar” columnist

More bestselling authors: Geraldine Brooks, Gillian Flynn


Carlotta Walls LaNier
A recent inductee to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Carlotta Walls LaNier is a key protagonist in one of the most gripping watershed moments of the Civil Rights Movement. LaNier was the youngest member of what became known as the Little Rock Nine – a group of nine African-American students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1957. An icon of perseverance and strength, Carlotta Walls LaNier’s keynotes reflect on history while inspiring hope for the future. LaNier has received the Congressional Gold Medal as well as the NAACP’S Spingam Medal.

Carlotta Walls LaNier

Youngest of the Little Rock Nine, civil rights advocate, National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee

More inspiring activists: Masha Gessen, Kristen Iversen, Isabel Wilkerson

Leadership Experts

Tara Mohr
As Tara Sophia Mohr says, her work is born out of a frustration and a hope: Frustration about smart women playing small, and the hope that they can overcome self-doubt and start playing big…much bigger. Mohr is the founder of the global Playing Big leadership program for women and an expert on women’s leadership and well-being. She has guided over 1,000 women from around the world through her program, giving them the tools to quiet self-doubt, identify their personal and career callings, “unhook” from praise and criticism, and begin taking bold and wise action to create the careers and lives they desire. As Mohr says in her book, Playing Big: “I’m working to bring forward women’s voices where they are absent because I believe those voices will help us create a better world.” Let the journey begin!

Tara Mohr

Founder of the acclaimed global Playing Big leadership program and expert on women’s leadership and well-being.

More leadership speakers: Joanna Barsh, Ping Fu, Leigh Gallagher

Motivational Speakers

Melissa d’Arabian
Melissa d’Arabian is best known as the winner of season five of The Next Food Network Star, but she is many more things: an MBA graduate and former corporate finance professional, television host, bestselling author, speaker, writer, and mom of four. Her dynamic lectures mirror the breadth of her background, as she talks about family, cooking, business, leadership and other topics especially close to her heart. After losing her mother to suicide in college, it was her group of female friends who supported her and inspired her to move on. Now living in a home bustling with four little women, d’Arabian is passionate about connecting with other women on their paths to success.

Melissa d’Arabian

Celebrity chef, TV host, bestselling author, speaker, writer, mom, woman of faith

More motivational speakers: Dr. Christine Carter, Jane Fonda


Bethany McLean
Bethany McLean is a columnist for Slate, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and spent thirteen years at Fortune, where she was an editor-at-large. In early 2001, McLean was one of the first reporters to raise questions about Enron, with her story “Is Enron Overpriced?” She and fellow Fortune senior writer Peter Elkind exposed the Enron scandal and wrote the national bestseller The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, which went on to become an Oscar-nominated documentary. In her writing and lectures McLean, a former Goldman Sachs analyst and co-author of the national bestseller All the Devils Are Here digs deep into the financial crisis, business ethics, and her experience working on Wall Street. In a November 2014 Vanity Fair article, McLean charted the breakdown of the relationship between Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, and looked at the challenges and opportunities facing Microsoft’s third C.E.O. Satya Nadella. 

Bethany McLean

Vanity Fair contributing editor and co-author of All the Devils are Here and the National Bestseller The Smartest Guys in the Room

More journalists: Dr. Sheri Fink, Rebecca Mead, Hanna Rosin

Younger Audiences & Parenting

R.J. Palacio
R.J. Palacio took the children’s literature world by storm with the publication of her debut novel, Wonder, a #1 New York Times bestseller that has sold over 1 million copies in North America. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” and in a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, it is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. Her lectures explore the impact of kindness in the world and whether parents —knowingly or unknowingly—teach their children that kindness is somehow incompatible with having a competitive edge.

R. J. Palacio

#1 New York Times bestselling author of Wonder

More speakers for young adults and parents: Dr. Shimi Kang, Jacqueline Woodson

Please contact us about booking our female author speakers to come to one of your future events.

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