22 Oct, 2023 @ 08:00
3 mins read

Queen Letizia is named among the most influential women in Spain – but how many of the others do YOU know?

The King and Queen of Spain, Felipe VI and Queen Leticia and Princess Sofia attend the graduation of Princess Leonor at UWC Atlantic College in Gaes, 20 May 2023

FORBES has released this year’s list detailing Spain’s most influential women including Queen Letizia, Spain’s Women’s Football team and singer Rosalia. 

The magazine published the second edition of the Spanish list on Wednesday, designed to ‘celebrate women’s success and educate future generations’. But do you know all of the inspirational Spanish women most featured?

Queen Letizia of Spain

A Journalist and divorcee, Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano has broken royal taboos as queen of Spain. Before her coronation she was even awarded the Madrid Press Association’s Larra Prize as the year’s most outstanding journalist under 30. As Queen she advocates for youth education, scientific research and awareness of rare diseases. 

Princess Leonor of Asturias 

Heir to the Spanish throne, the 17-year-old has been making headlines recently whilst completing the military training. Described as ‘loyal’ by Forbes, the princess was praised for her support of the Spanish women’s side at the recent World Cup final. Leonor has studied in the UK, attending prestigious private school UWC Atlantic College in Wales. 

The Spanish Women’s Football team

Although celebrating the whole team, Forbes highlighted the Balon d’Or winner Ataina Bonmati and teammate Salma Parallelo, who was crowned the best player of the tournament. The team, who beat the English side 1-0 also received the Spanish Royal Award for Sporting Merit. 

Women's World Cup Spain 2023
The Spanish side beat England in a nail biting final. Credit Image: © Mathias Bergeld/Bildbyran via ZUMA Press)

Rosalía 

Infusing flamenco and pop, Rosalia has conquered the charts at home and abroad, becoming the first Spanish woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone USA this year. Her recent Motomami tour has broken records, covering 21 countries and 2 million attendees. The Barcelona native’s logo also appeared on her home team’s kit during the hotly contested El Clásico football match between Madrid and Barcelona. 

Rosalia performing
Rosalia’s flamenco infused pop has topped charts all over the world. Credit:SADAKA EDMOND/SIPA/2307231528

Elena Arzak

In 2013, Basque chef Elena Arzak was awarded the ‘best chef in the world’. Now, just a decade later, the culinary royalty is up for the honour again. Her three-Michelian-starred restaurants are known for their relaxed vibe where local families have dined for generations. She comes from a Spanish culinary dynasty, following in the footsteps of three generations of chefs. Her dishes are known for preserving Basque traditions whilst adding flavours inspired by cultures worldwide. 

Elena Arzak cooking
From a family of chefs, Elena Arzak was born to cook.

Elvira Dyangani Ose

Director of Barcelona modern art museum, the MACBA, the art historian proudly oversees a 90% female workforce. In 2022, the Turner Prize judge was included in the ArtReview’s Power 100 list for her influence in the art world. 

Francina Armengol 

The new President of the Spanish Congress, Francina Armengol is known for her tact in reaching agreements and her support for using regional languages in government. In 2015, she became the first female leader of the Balearic Islands whilst raising two children as a single mother. 

Francina Armengol
Francina Armengol was elected President of the Spanish congress in August. (Photo by David Canales / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Gloria Lomana 

The Executive President of 50&50 Gender Leadership, Gloria Lomana is a pioneer in female leadership and communications. In 2019, she founded a communications consultancy focussed on equality and female leadership. She also pioneers leadership programmes for young women aged 15-18 and shares her insights in the national media. 

Irene Cano 

Head of Meta for Spain and Portugal, Irene Cano is at the forefront of world changing technology. Under her leadership, Spain will become Europe’s first ‘metacountry’, a multinational centre for innovation and planning of the metaverse. 

Ana Obregon 

In March this year, actress Ana Obregon became the centre of a national controversy when she decided to become a mother using her dead son’s sperm at almost 70-years-old. The story shocked Spaniards and even landed in the national congress. Following the controversy, Ana published a book her son had started writing before his death in 2020.‘The Boy with the Shrews’ went on to become a best seller and Ana a successful influencer. 

Ana Obregon has overcome controversy to celebrate the birth of her daughter. Credit:SOPA Images/SIPA/2310181615

Sara García Alonso 

Last year, the molecular biologist became the first Spanish woman to be selected for the European Space Agency reserve. Not only the first Spanish female astronaut, the scientist is also part of the National Cancer Research Centre and leads projects to find new drugs to fight lung and pancreatic cancer. 

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email yzabelle@theolivepress.es

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