News The World's 10 Wealthiest Women: Leading the Way in Business and Philanthropy
The World's 10 Wealthiest Women: Leading the Way in Business and Philanthropy
In a world where fortunes rise and fall, these women have ascended to the pinnacle of wealth, leaving an indelible mark on industries ranging from cosmetics to finance. With tenacity, vision, and often, family legacies, they've solidified their positions as the richest women on our planet. Let's take a closer look at these remarkable individuals, their businesses, and the impact they've made on both the financial landscape and philanthropic endeavors. From France to the United States and beyond, these billionaire women are redefining what it means to be at the top of the world's wealthiest list.
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is a prominent French businesswoman and philanthropist whose total net worth, as reported by Forbes, stands at a staggering $94.9 billion. This immense wealth earns her the well-deserved title of the richest woman on Earth. She boasts a prestigious lineage as the granddaughter of the founder of the beauty giant L’Oreal. Notably, her family still maintains a substantial 33% ownership stake in the company. Meyers has been a board member of L’Oreal since 1997 and currently holds the esteemed position of chairperson within the makeup empire. In the list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, Meyers claims the 11th position.
With a total net worth of $61.3 billion, Alice Walton secures her place as the second richest woman globally. She is the sole daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of the retail behemoth Walmart, and possesses an impressive 50% stake in the corporation. Beyond her business acumen, Walton is renowned for her fervent passion for art and boasts a personal art collection valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Julia Koch's total net worth stands at an impressive $59 billion, catapulting her into the ranks of billionaires. Her entry into the billionaire list followed the inheritance of a substantial 42% stake in Koch Industries from her late husband, David Koch, who passed away in August 2019 at the age of 79. Originally from Iowa, Julia Koch made her mark in New York during the 1980s, where she served as an assistant to renowned fashion designer Adolfo. She and her late husband demonstrated their commitment to philanthropy by donating $10 million to Stanford Children’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center, specifically for the study of food allergies.
Jacqueline Mars secures her position as the fourth richest woman globally, boasting a net worth of $38.3 billion. She lays claim to one-third of Mars Incorporated, the world’s largest candy maker, and a conglomerate that also includes pet food. This corporate giant was founded by her grandfather, Frank C. Mars, in 1911. Inheriting the company also meant ownership of renowned brands such as IAMS and Pedigree.
Miriam Adelson, an American physician and billionaire, possesses a net worth of $37.7 billion. She became the inheritor of her late husband Sheldon Adelson's 50% stake in Las Vegas Sands following his passing in early 2021. Beyond her substantial wealth, Miriam Adelson has been a notable figure in conservative political causes in the United States and Palestine. She is recognized for her significant contributions, including funding Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Mackenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, achieved billionaire status in 2023 with a net worth of $29.5 billion. Her wealth accumulation stemmed from her 25-year marriage to Jeff Bezos, which ended in divorce in mid-2019. As part of the divorce settlement, Jeff transferred 25% of his Amazon stake to her, equating to 4% of the company itself.
Gina Rinehart, with a net worth of $26.9 billion, holds the position of executive chairman in the Australian mining and agriculture company Hancock Prospecting Group. This conglomerate, founded by her father Lang Hancock in 1992, reflects her familial connection to the industry. Despite dropping out of Economics at Sydney University, Gina Rinehart stands as the wealthiest individual in Australia and earned recognition in Forbes' list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
Susanne Klatten, with a net worth of $24.6 billion, is the owner and deputy chairman of Atlanta, a pharmaceutical and chemical company. Additionally, she holds an approximately 19% stake in the German automaker BMW, inherited from her parents, Johanna Quandt and Herbert Quandt.
Iris Fontbona possesses a net worth of $22.8 billion and, alongside her children, controls Antofagasta Plc. This company owns copper mines in Chile and is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Iris is the widow of the late Chilean magnate Andrónico Luksic, who established significant wealth in mining and beverages. She also maintains a major stake in Quiñenco, a Chilean conglomerate renowned for its involvement in banking, beer production, and manufacturing.
Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Fidelity Investments since 2014, secures her place as the tenth richest woman in the world. She inherited the company from her father, Ned Johnson III. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Johnson's net worth stands at $21.6 billion, and she holds a substantial 24.5% stake in the firm.
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