HWiB2Editor's note: March is Women's History Month, and to celebrate we have asked HubSpotters to write brief tributes to women they admire. We will publish these articles all month here on the HubSpot Opinion blog as part of a series called "Women in Business." Here, my colleague Laura Fitton pays tribute to the buisnesswoman and philanthropist Rosalia Mera. -- Dan Lyons.




I'm HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Evangelist and previously co-authored Twitter for Dummies and founded oneforty.com. I'm also credited with convincing Guy Kawasaki and thousands of tech execs that Twitter would have real business value. I founded the first Twitter for business consultancy, Pistachio Consulting, in 2008 and have been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since 2007.

As an Inbound Marketing Evangelist, I'm excited about showing companies how to grow by helping people buy instead of cramming marketing messages down their throats. RosaliaMeraLauraFitton
I've lectured at HBS and MIT-Sloan, and have been quoted in dozens of national publications including BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal.

My Nominee: Rosalia Mera

I don't know a lot about Rosalia Mera's life, but what blew my mind when I first heard of her last year was that the world's wealthiest self-made woman, and the second-wealthiest person in Spain, came from such humble beginings.

"Mera dropped out of school at age 11 to work as a seamstress."

In a world where far too much energy is expended dwelling on all the obstacles and hardships women face, I am inspired to see a story like that. Kinda of makes you want to shut your self doubting mental chatter down completely and say ok, hell, let's do this thing, whatever "this thing" means to you.

Her obituary notes her work as a philanthropist and feminist. "Mera was not just a philanthropist, but a feminist and progressive voice. In recent years she had spoken out strongly for a woman's right to choose, against the current government's proposals to restrict access to abortion. ... She also supported the mass movement of indignados (the outraged) who filled Spain's squares in 2011 to protect against corruption and austerity."

Mera made her fortune by founding Inditex, a textile company whose leading brand is Zara, a clothing brand known around the world. Inditex also owns seven other clothing lines. Zara launched in 1975. By the time she died, in 2013, her stake in the company was worth $6.5 billion.  

Originally published Mar 12, 2014 9:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023