The Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the UK has a strong commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and it is with this in mind that it is included in its Strategic Plan as one of its core objectives.


This commitment is translated into a series of initiatives, including this event series which aims to cast a spotlight on professionals from different sectors, to delve into their career backgrounds and the difficulties and opportunities that they have encountered along the way, from a gender perspective. Women Who Inspire aims to inspire us all. It will intend to discuss some of the experiences and journeys that are likely to be common among us, but might not always be visible at a surface level.

Together with H.E. the Ambassador of SpainMr. José Pascual Marco, we have the pleasure of inviting you to attend the next edition of Women Who Inspire.

This series aims to inspire us all. It will intend to discuss some of the experiences and journeys that are likely to be common among us, but might not always be visible at a surface level.

Following a panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with representatives from the financial sector in the UK.


This event is open to Members and non-Members alike, both women and men. We strongly encourage everyone to attend and be a part of this important dialogue.


This event is free for all Members of the Chamber.

Date & Time: Tuesday 30th April, 18:00 (for a 18:30 start) – 20:30

Location: Spanish Ambassador’s Residence | Belgrave Square | London SW1X 8QA

Dress code: Business attire




About the panellists:

Mónica Fernández-Mejuto Rodríguez

UK Country Manager

Sabadell UK


Ms. Fernández-Mejuto has a dual degree in Spanish Law and Economics & Business Administration from ICADE. She is a Chartered Accountant and has a PDG General Management Program by IESE. Her professional career began at Arthur Andersen, where she became Manager in the Financial Sector Audit Practice. In 1996 she joined Corporación Bancaria de España, and in 1999 she became Chief Accounting Officer of both the BBVA Group Mutual Fund and Pensión Manager Companies.


In 2002 she joined Caja Madrid, where she successively held the responsibilities of: Head of Investor Relations and Capital Management; Group Controller; Head of Financial Management and, after its merger, Head of Strategy and Corporate Development for Bankia Group. In 2012 she moved to the UK to take the role of Financial Controller for the WAFI Division (Wealth, Asset Finance & International) at Lloyds Bank.


In December 2013 she joined Banco Sabadell, within the Asset Transformation Division. She also took the responsibility for monitoring and controlling Banco Sabadell Credit Risk Unit. In March 2021 she was appointed Divisional Chief Financial Officer of CIB and in October 2022 she moved to London after being appointed Head of Sabadell UK.


Silvia Holgado Gómez

Head of Commercial Banking



Ms. Holgado Gómez has been Head of Commercial Banking for BBVA UK since 2019. She leads a team covering UK-based companies to develop a global relationship model throughout BBVA’s network. This involves providing solutions and expertise in each geography that supports their business. Before this role, she developed her career in Spain in various Business and Corporate Banking positions. She has over 27 years of experience in the financial services industry and was also an associate professor in Spain at different Universities, teaching Micro and Macroeconomics, Finance, and Banking.


Ms. Holgado Gómez holds a BA in Economics and Business and a MSc in Economics and Finance. She is a qualified EFPA European Investment Practitioner (EIP) and ISF Adviser Level 1. In 2021, she completed the MBA fundamentals online program at the London School of Economics.  She has been a Member of the Board of Omnia Learning Trust since 2020 and is a Mentor for IMFAHE. Most recently she has mentored at the University of Westminster. In April 2023 she was appointed as a member of the Industrial Development Advisory Board (IDAB – GovUK). The Industrial Development Advisory Board (IDAB) advises ministers on applications from companies for specific projects in the country.


Gabriela Martínez de Aragón

Country Manager

CaixaBank UK


Ms. Martínez de Aragón has held her current position since May 2020. She was recruited from BBVA, where she had been the bank’s CEO in Singapore since 2012. Ms. Martínez de Aragón was originally posted in Asia in 2007 to run BBVA’s Project Finance activity in Australia and South East Asia.


Previously, Ms. Martínez de Aragón was the Project Finance Director at Isolux, a Spanish engineering and construction firm with extensive activity in Latin America. Before that, she worked as a consultant in international project and export finance at boutique advisory firm Trafco, based in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Martínez de Aragón had worked in Asia in the past, having occupied the position of Trade Advisor at the Embassy of Spain in Kuala Lumpur during 1997. Ms. Martínez de Aragón holds a master’s degree in engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. She has been married since 2001 and is the mother of two teenage sons.

Lou Murray

Chief Sales Officer



A financial services pioneer, Ms. Murray was one of CIBC and Barclays Bank’s first female traders. Now a highly experienced payments, fintech and digital asset specialist, Ms. Murray combines her keen eye for profitability with a commitment to nurturing and supporting the Railsr team through their rapid growth.


As Chief Sales Officer, she strongly believes in good communication, learning to prioritise, and helping colleagues and customers exceed their goals.

Elsa Pekmez Atan

Director, Customer Strategy, Insights and Innovation

Santander UK


Ms. Pekmez Atan is a senior leader with 20+ years’ experience in management consulting, digital banking and big tech. She started her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company’s Istanbul Office, where she worked for 10 years serving clients mainly in retail banking and payments industry. She then joined Finansbank, a mid-sized bank in Turkey, where she built and ran the country’s first digital-only bank, has become a love mark bank brand in the country, achieving NPS scores consistently above 75 and reaching more than 1million customer in less than 5 years. Ms. Pekmez Atan then moved to London in 2017 to join Facebook’s partnerships team, looking after payments and financial services partnerships in Europe. She then joined the Santander Group in 2018 as part of Santander Digital and moved to Santander UK in 2021 to manage bank’s digital channels and journeys.


More recently, she started leading the Customer Strategy, Insights and Innovation teams at the bank, continuing to nurture her passion for customers and building better solutions for them. Ms. Pekmez Atan has a 10-year-old son and enjoys tennis, skiing and playing the piano.


This event is kindly sponsored by:




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