“At least 40% of my time is devoted to the Women of A.L.I.C.E, developing curriculum, immersive content and events,” Lanham said. “In addition, I work closely with our DEI group and regularly host fireside chats and panels with women across the globe. Such a format also provides a very safe circle of trust for the senior-most women in the industry to come together and collaborate on a personal and professional level.”
Given the company’s India-based parent, Lanham has been able to interact with women in that country, she noted: “Encouraging them to chase their dreams has also been highly fulfilling.”
She credited Carla Harris, author of The Wealth Choice, as an influence, along with Marcia Davies, founder and COO of mPower. In dispensing advice to women in the industry, she draws from the former, who likes to say: “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” From Davies, she draws inspiration from her accomplishments and “… how she continues to nurture all the women of the mortgage finance industry who are willing to participate,” Lanham said.
But her greatest inspiration by far comes from her grandmother, who served as an early role model for her based on an uncommon perseverance, intelligence, drive and sheer grit. “She began working in the 1950s and eventually rose to the position of city manager in Fort Lauderdale – the only female in the country at the time to hold such a title,” she said of her grandma, who passed away last July at the age of 101.
Her mother’s mother, Francine Stuller moved to Florida after a divorce intent on starting over, Lanham said of her beloved grandmother. “I never saw any barrier top her,” she said. Because of her, Lanham added, “I grew up never thinking that anything could stop me from being who I wanted to be.”