If you would search ‘richest people in the world’, you will find mostly men sitting at the top. But here we bring you the top 20 richest women in the world. A few of these women have inherited the wealth from their families while others have built their businesses from scratch.
- 1. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
- 2. Alice Walton
- 3. MacKenzie Scott
- 4. Julia Koch
- 5. Miriam Adelson
- 6. Jacqueline Mars
- 7. Yang Huiyan
- 8. Susanne Klatten
- 9. Gina Rinehart
- 10. Iris Fontbona
- 11. Laurene Powell Jobs
- 12. Zhong Huijuan
- 13. Wu Yajun
- 14. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken
- 15. Fan Hongwei
- 16. Zhou Qunfei
- 17. Abigail Johnson
- 18. Kwong Siu-hing
- 19. Kirsten Rausing
- 20. Wang Laichun
1. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest woman in the world with a net worth of $92.8 billion. Born in France, she is the granddaughter of Eugene Schueller who was the founder of L’Oreal.
Her family owns 33% of the stocks in L’Oreal. When her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, died in 2017, she became the chairperson of the company. This makes her the richest woman in the world.
2. Alice Walton
Alice Walton is the daughter of Sam Walton who is the founder of Walmart, one of the most successful retail chains in the world in the US. She has a net worth of $67.9 billion.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, her fortunes rose by $7.4 billion thanks to the rise of 5% in Walmart stocks. The retail giant introduced a free delivery option in January to its prime members to help in online sales.
3. MacKenzie Scott
MacKenzie Scott got famous worldwide after the news of her divorce from Jeff Bezos, founder and then CEO of Amazon, after a harmonious marriage of 25 years.
After their divorce, MacKenzie received 4% of the stake in Amazon which was $35 billion at that time. As of now, her net worth is around $62.7 billion which makes her the third richest woman in the world.
4. Julia Koch
Julia Koch is the wife of David Koch, who owned 42% of the stakes in Koch Industries which is America’s largest private company by revenue in 2020. After David’s death in 2019, Julia along with her children became the owner of her husband’s stake.
Her family has a net worth of $51.2 billion dollars. David’s elder brother Charles also owns 42% of the stake in the company.
5. Miriam Adelson
Miriam Adelson is an Israeli-American physician who owns 56% of the stakes in casino operator Las Vegas Sands that was previously owned by her husband Sheldon Adelson who died earlier in January at the age of 87.
Her net worth is around $38.2 billion. The casinos suffered a huge loss of $1.69 billion in the second quarter of 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown in the US.
6. Jacqueline Mars
Jacqueline Mars is the granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, who founded the American chocolate and candy manufacturing company Mars Incorporated.
Jacqueline with her brother John owns a 33% stake each in the company which makes her net worth nearly $31.8 billion. The daughter of Jacqueline’s late brother, Forrest Jr. owns the rest of the stakes.
7. Yang Huiyan
Yang Huiyan is the major stakeholder of China-based real estate developer Country Garden Holdings which was founded by her father Yang Guoquiang in 1997.
She has a net worth of $29.3 billion making her the richest woman in Asia and the 24th wealthiest person in mainland China. However, the shares of the company fell by 14% since the beginning of the pandemic.
8. Susanne Klatten
Susanne Klatten owns 19.1% stakes in the German automaker BMW while her brother owns 23.6%. She inherited the wealth from her mother who was the third wife of legendary industrialist Herbert Quandt, who guided BMW to preeminence in the luxury market.
Her current net worth is around $27.7 billion. Her company’s stock price has increased by 93% since mid-March 2020.
9. Gina Rinehart
Gina Rinehart is the richest Australian citizen with a net worth of $23 billion. Her prime source of wealth is mineral mining. She is the daughter of the famous mining magnate Lang Hancock.
Rinehart rebuilt her late father’s company Hancock Prospecting which was suffering from financial distress and became its chairperson in 1992. The high-profile mining company is also Australia’s second-largest cattle producer, with a portfolio of properties across the country.
10. Iris Fontbona
Iris Fontbona is another mining magnate from Chile. She was the wife of Andrónico Luksic, who made the majority of his wealth in mining and beverages before dying in 2005 due to cancer.
Fontbona along with her children control Antofagasta Plc, which owns copper mines in Chile and their trades at the London Stock Exchange. She also owns a majority stake in Quiñenco, a Chilean conglomerate active in banking, beer, and manufacturing. Her net worth stands at $20.7 billion.
11. Laurene Powell Jobs
Laurene Powell Jobs is an American businesswoman who inherited shares worth billions of dollars in Apple and Disney from her late husband, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
Laurene is also the executive director and the founder of Emerson Collective, a for-profit corporation focused on education, immigration reform, the environment, media and journalism, and health. Her net worth as of 2021 is $19.9 billion.
12. Zhong Huijuan
Zhong Huijuan is the richest self-made female billionaire in the world. Zhong is the founder and CEO of Hansoh Pharmaceutical, a Chinese drug manufacturing company that produces oncology, antidiabetic, psychoactive, and other drugs.
She owns 3 quarters of the company with her daughter Sun Yuan. Her net worth is around $18.8 billion. And this makes her one of the richest women in the world.
13. Wu Yajun
Wu Yajun is an entrepreneur who serves as the co-founder and chairperson of Longfor Properties, a real estate developer based in Hong Kong.
She founded the company with her ex-husband, Cai Kui, whom she divorced in 2012. Her husband is no longer associated with the company. She worked as a journalist before stepping into the real estate business. As of 2021, her net worth is around $17.9 billion.
14. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is the richest Dutch-British woman, thanks to her 23% stake in the beer manufacturing giant Heineken.
Right now she serves as the executive director of the company after inheriting the shares from her late father and then CEO Freddy Heineken. She has a net worth of $17.4 billion. This makes her one of the richest women in the world.
15. Fan Hongwei
Fan Hongwei is the wife of Chen Jianhua, who is the chairman of Hengli’s Holding Company and is also a billionaire himself. Fan serves as the chairperson of Hengli Petrochemical, a chemical fiber supplier, under the banner of Hengli Holding Company.
The petrochemical company was set up in 2002 and has manufacturing plants in Suzhou, Suqian, and Nantong areas. With a net worth of $16.8 billion, she ranks 14th on this list.
16. Zhou Qunfei
Zhou Qunfei is a Chinese entrepreneur who is the founder and chairperson of a major touch screen maker, Lens Technology. The company supplies smartphone screens to tech giants like Samsung, LG, Microsoft, and Nokia.
After the company went public and got listed on the Shenzhen ChiNext market in March 2015, her worth skyrocketed. Currently, she has a net worth of $16.1 billion and is amongst the most successful self-made women.
17. Abigail Johnson
Abigail Johnson is an American businesswoman and the CEO and Chairman of Fidelity Investments. Fidelity Investments is an American investment company that was founded by her grandfather Edward C. Johnson II.
Abigail took over from her father in 2014 and has been the chairman since 2016. She has 24.5% stakes in the firm which accounts for her net worth of $15 billion.
18. Kwong Siu-hing
Kwong Siu-hing is the widow of Kwok Tak-Seng, who co-founded Sun Hung Kai Properties, a corporation founded in 1963 that deals in property development. She’s one of the richest women in the world.
After the death of Tak-Seng, Siu-hing served as the company’s chairman from 2008 to 2011 after her eldest son, Walter was ousted in a feud with her two other sons Thomas and Raymond. She has a net worth of $13.6 billion being the biggest shareholder in the firm.
19. Kirsten Rausing
Kirsten Rausing is a Swedish businesswoman and philanthropist who owns a 33.3% stake in TetraLaval, a multinational corporation that provides packaging, processing, and distribution products for a range of foodstuffs.
Tetra Pak was founded by Kirsten’s grandfather, which invented aseptic packaging technology. She has a net worth of $13.5 billion. Kirsten and her two siblings Finn and Jörn also own a stake in International Flavors & Fragrances.
20. Wang Laichun
Another Chinese self-made billionaire on the list is Wang Laichun. She is the chairperson of the Luxshare Precision Industry, which manufactures electronic products for premium companies including Apple.
Wang worked for Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, also called Foxconn, for 10 years and then joined her brother Wang Laisheng in 2004 to buy Luxshare. Her brother is now the vice-chairman. This makes her one of the richest women in the world.
So these were the 20 richest women in the world. These women have contributed to society as much as their male counterparts if not more. So how many of these leading ladies did you know already? Do let us know!