When Lara Rhame began her career as an economist, there were very few women on Wall Street to whom she could look to for direction.
The women who balanced a career at the top with raising a family were even rarer, she recalls.
As the chief U.S. economist for FS investments in Philadelphia, Rhame is a formal mentor to four women at the firm, meeting with them regularly to discuss their professional and personal goals.
"I feel like some of my strongest mentorships can be just setting the example," Rhame explains, of "somebody who is rising in the company, who is influential, who has a voice that is heard both internally and externally."
Rhame often lends her voice as an expert at conferences, and is a contributor to Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, CNBC and other financial media outlets.
"I think it's enormously important to get everybody in our society used to women who are experts," Rhame says.
"The more you see it, the more normal it becomes — I hope that, 10 years from now, there are just as many women up on stage as men."
Outside of work, Rhame is also passionate about using her influence to help others in her community.
She serves on the board of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and Starr Garden Park, a Philadelphia-based sports and recreation community group.
She is also a member of the Forum of Executive Women, where she works with other regional executives to increase the number of women in leadership roles, expand their impact and position them to drive positive change in the Philadelphia region.
"The rising tide has to lift all ships — it's not enough to think about women in finance," Rhame says. "We need to think about women in medicine, women in government."