The Women Supporting Women series celebrates the trailblazers who better other women’s lives. Meet Nathalie Molina Niño, 41, founder and CEO of BRAVA Investments, a socially responsible investment company that funds health tech, education tech, and consumer tech companies that all benefit women.
Question: What were you doing before you started BRAVA investments
Answer: I spent 15 years in tech, often as the only woman in the room, sometimes in the building. As a woman in a cut-throat, competitive environment, I had to be more cut-throat and competitive than the men. That made me successful at getting results, but not as a human being. Finally, I had an awakening: I could be a generous person and still be successful.
Question: What inspired you to launch your own investment company?
Answer: I realized that I could have a lot more impact as an investor if I focused on companies that had an economic impact upon women. I could create a real domino effect. I looked around to see if there was an investment company like that to join, but my take was very different from anyone else’s. So I started my own.
Question: Can you share a defining moment in your career?
Answer: When I got invited to launch BRAVA Investments at South by South Lawn at The White House in October 2016, I’d only gotten my first investment in August and had to scramble to pull everything together, but when someone says you can launch your company at The White House, you don’t say no. I stood there and told people the story of what lead me to form BRAVA, and it felt like a culmination of my life’s work.
Question: What comes easily to you that can be more difficult for other people?
Answer: Connecting the dots -- human beings, strategies, concepts. It’s my superpower. Like anyone, I can get mired in the weeds. But at the end of the day where I add the most value in a crisis or with a problem is to step back and see the forest for the trees.
Question: What would you tell women who feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything they want to do?
Answer: As women, we often silo ourselves. I’m not suggesting that this load we’re carrying isn’t hard. Just know that you can create simple, mutually beneficial relationships with other women. Have regular dinners out with a group of women where you hold each other accountable for goals. It’s so much better than sitting around a conference room talking…plus usually wine is involved!
Question: What advice would you give your younger self?
Answer: I would tell her to leave every place better than she found it. In my first 15 years of tech, I was so busy surviving, not making waves, and focused on making myself successful that I didn’t look at the community or my role as an activist to change a system. I didn’t do that back then for tech or women—but I’ll spend the next half of my life fixing that.
Ellen Seidman is an editor, blogger, web content consultant, and proud mom of three. She has held senior positions at Glamour, SELF, Redbook and Good Housekeeping, and done freelance projects for Martha Stewart Living, Allure, People StyleWatch and In Style.