The richest women in the world, however, often get overlooked.
Who are these extremely wealthy women, and how did they manage to accumulate so much money?
Table of Contents
Who Is the Richest Woman in the World Right Now?
Right now (2019), the honor of world’s richest woman goes to Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, who has a net worth of about $55.7 billion.
She took the honor shortly after her mother’s death.
How Did the Richest Woman in the World Make Her Fortune?
Bettencourt has written a few books, but she didn’t earn her wealth from the publishing industry. Instead, she inherited most of her money from her family, which currently owns 33% of L’Oreal.
Bettencourt’s grandfather, Eugene Schueller, started building L’Oreal in 1909. As a young man, Schueller invented a hair dye that he called Oreale. As his reputation grew and he developed more products, he formally registered L’Oreal in 1919.
Today, the company makes a wide range of beauty products, including makeup, fragrances, and lotions.
Liliane Bettencourt, the mother of Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, became L’Oreal’s principal shareholder when her father died in 1957. Bettencourt quickly became one of the richest women in the world until her death in 2017, when her wealth went to Bettencourt Meyers.
Francoise Bettencourt Meyers does more than reap the rewards of her inheritance. As principal shareholder, she remains active in L’Oreal’s business decisions.
She also serves as her the president of Fondation Bettencourt Schueller, her family’s philanthropic organization that funds advancements in arts and life sciences.
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Who Is the Richest Woman in the USA?
As of June 2019, Alice Walton has more money than any woman in the United States of America. She has a net worth of about $49.5 billion, making her the second-richest woman in the world.
Like Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, Alice Walton inherited her wealth. As the only daughter of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, she has had access to at least $30 billion since 2014.
Walton’s siblings, Rob and Jim, have spent their lives working for Walmart. Rob Walton has served on the Walmart Board of Directors and the Strategic Planning and Finance Committees. Jim was a lawyer with Tulsa-based law firm Conner & Winters, which represents Walmart. He later served as Walmart’s senior vice president and vice president.
Alice, however, has chosen not to involve herself in the family business. During her career, she held high-ranking positions with First Commerce Corporation, Arvest Bank Group, and EF Hutton. She founded investment bank Llama Company, where she has served as president, chairwoman, and CEO.
Alice Walton has also spent a lot of time and money supporting art and philanthropic work. She owns a collection of art that includes works by John Singer Sargent, George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, and Pablo Picasso. Many of these works hang in museums around the country.
Who Is the Richest Woman in China?
Yang Huiyan, the richest woman in China, is the 42nd richest person in the world. She has a net worth of about $23.1 billion. Born in 1981, she is also one of the world’s youngest billionaires.
Yang’s father, Yang Guoqiang, made her wealthy in 2007 when he gave her 70% of Country Garden’s shares just before the company’s IPO. Country Garden is a property development company. It raised $1.6 billion from its IPO.
Yang currently owns 57% of Country Garden Holdings’s stock. She serves as the company’s vice chairmen of the board’s governance committee. She also chairs the education company Bright Scholar Education Holdings.
Who Is the Richest Woman in Australia?
Gina Rinehart’s net worth comes to $15.7 billion, making her the richest person in Australia and the 75th richest person in the world.
Rinehart benefited from the work of her father, mining magnate Lang Hancock. As Hancock’s only child, Rinehart received about 77% of Hancock Prospecting when her father died in 1992. When she took control of the company, she had a worth of about $52 million.
Rinehart used her inheritance and business savvy to grow her empire rapidly. She expanded Hancock Prospecting during an iron ore boom in the 2000s. Her decision to grow the company at this time made her a billionaire.
Gina Rinehart wasn’t satisfied focusing all of her efforts on the mining industry though. She added to her fortune by investing in the media companies Fairfax Media and Ten Network Holdings, which is owned by American company CBS Corporation.
In 2012, Rinehart’s riches peaked at $18 billion. Since then, the iron ore industry has become less profitable, so her fortune has shrunk somewhat. With nearly $16 billion, though, she’s still one of the richest people in the world.
Women make up a minority of the world’s billionaires. The ones that make this list, however, have shown exceptional intelligence in areas of business development and fundraising. They’re impressive for their cunning as well as their fortunes.
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