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More Women on the Billionaires List Than Ever Before


Forbes has released its annual list of the richest of the rich, and the good news is that more women made the billionaire mark than ever — 172, out of 1,645 billionaires, worldwide.

Alice Walton

(Photo Credit: Photo of Alice Walton from Wikimedia Commons)

“There’s no denying that women are still a tiny minority on the list, representing a little over 10 percent of the total,” writes Andrea Navarro in a separate column.

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Furthermore, Jezebel points out that only five of the new women on the list, including Sheryl Sandberg, are self-made billionaires. The top spots on the list go to Christy Walton, Liliane Bettencourt, and Alice Walton — all of whom inherited their wealth from family empires in retail and cosmetics.

Still, the additions to the list can tell us something: Sandberg made the cut because of soaring shares of Facebook stock; company founder Mark Zuckerberg also nearly doubled his fortune for the same reason. The lesson? It pays to negotiate for more than just cash when you accept a job. (But still, negotiate for that cash, too. Not every company can be a Facebook.)

How did the other four self-made female newcomers get rich?

“…Folorunsho Alakija ($2.5 billion), Nigeria’s first female billionaire, whose Famfa Oil owns a prolific oil bloc,” writes Navarro. “There’s UK’s Denise Coates ($1.6 billion), the co-CEO and largest shareholder of online gambling site Bet365; Liu Xiaomeng ($1 billion), who holds a stake in the Suning Appliance Group, which in turn owns 14% of Suning Commerce Group, China’s largest appliance retailer; and Wang Laichun ($1 billion) Chairman of Shenzhen Luxshare Precision Industry Co., Ltd.”

Some of the world’s richest women, in other words, are doing it for themselves.

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Is this good news for regular working women? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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