Holly Mandel's multimedia talk & discussion about the origins and implications of "the Good Girl" -- her effects on women's creativity, confidence, and untapped potentials.


I left feeling so positive, open, and aware of all the different voices inside me for the first time — how different they were and how they want different things. This new perspective has changed everything for me.
— Lila K, Grad student, Emerson
Get ready for things to change. Holly is immensely engaging and her work is important AND fascinating. We didn’t move, enthralled by what she was piecing together and uncovering. “
— Jemma D, Warner Bros. TV
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After years of performing, teaching, and directing improv at The Groundlings Theater & School in LA, as well as in NYC at her own improv school, Holly couldn't help but notice a trend in her women students and fellow improvisers...and herself. It was a strange shift that they would do seemingly without rhyme or reason, slipping from brave, confident, bold performers to meek, slightly insecure, safe ones that were happy to follow and let others take the lead and who were more interested in getting it “right” than anything else. And, clearly, this was happening outside of the classroom as much as within.

At the same time Holly was noticing while working at Comedy Central a lack of the same edginess, risk-taking and uniqueness in the women comediennes there. It led her to investigate what was going on and she found some very interesting pieces of a puzzle that seems to be on many women's minds but hard to pinpoint. The answers span the biological, historical, psychological and cultural terrain with a focus on a very interesting moment in our collective history...when the "good woman" was born. And why her time is up!



Walt Disney Animation Studios (LA)
Publicis / Razorfish (NYC)
Skadden law firm (NYC)
PwC: Women’s Summit (NYC)
M&C Saatchi (LA)
Comedy Central (NYC)
Illumination Entertainment (LA)
The Groundlings Theater & School (LA)
NYWIFT: NY Women in Film & Television (NYC)
Soho Theatre (London)
Global Improvisation Summit (London)
Improvolution (NYC)
The Barrow Group (NYC)
The Lowbar (LA)
The Free Association (London)
Pace University (NYC)
Emerson College (Boston)
Bryn Mawr (Pennsylvania)
West L.A. College (Los Angeles)


• Leadership
• Women & Gender Values
• Perfectionism, Likability & Confidence
• Women's History
• Media Impact & Representation
• Social and Cultural Dynamics
• Creativity
• Biological and Historical Lens on Gender




To use comedy - and what it takes for women to be authentically funny - as an analogy to expose a “voice” that lives in all women. This “voice” advises us away from our edge, from being the confident leader that lies within, from living autonomously free from ‘shoulds’, and from a deep trust and bond with other women.



To educate women and men on the historical origins on the “Good Girl’s” motive or value structure so they can begin to see it for its universal nature instead of it being something they only personally grapple with. These layers within us all have various motives and strategies, and have been passed down in various ways - biologically, culturally, and memetically (through shared values).



To help the women attending see in themselves that wanting to be seen and valued as “good, perfect, liked” is not the same pat of themselves that wants to be valued for being bold, confident, fearless, to lead and to have one another’s backs. As a matter of fact, they can often be seen and experienced as opposing forces within us.



To ignite interest in how women are constructed, what informs what we do, what we care about, and how we value ourselves. To spark an exploration and conversation around gender, values, and where we as women want to go.



To give women the insights, language, and tools to help navigate situations where the “Good Girl” might get triggered so they can be conscious and make different choices. Choices that come from the bold, fearless, free and self-directed part of themselves.




is a version of the talk Holly gives to businesses and Women's organizations dedicated to developing women in leadership, core confidence, and greater innovative thinking.

Contact us to find out more about the talk & workshop series. You can also read more about her corporate training at



Holly offers her talk WHEN SHE IS TRAVELING IN THE U.S. AND ABROAD. SHE IS ALSO AVAILABLE for private bookings.

For more information contact Sharon Fredrickson.