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Richest women in the world feature

10 Richest Women in the World

Like everyone else in the 0.01% club, the richest women in the world get richer every year. And while the gap between Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers ($96.5 Billion) and Alice Walton ($72.2 Billion) keeps getting larger, every person on our list is a bonafide billionaire. These two powerhouses are joined by several veritable power players, many of whom inherited their fortunes in one way or another, but nearly all of whom know how to make that big pile of cash even bigger.

Our list below uses data shared by Forbes’ real-time billionaire ranking system, and as such, these figures vary often as the share prices adjust daily. That being said, you’ll see familiar companies such as Amazon, Walmart, and Mars, Inc., which respectively helped the richest women in the world either achieve or retain their superior status this year. Let’s take a closer look.

Francoise bettencourt meyers richest woman in the world
Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers | Image: Supplied

1. Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers – $96.5 Billion

The world’s richest woman is Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers with a net worth of $96.5 Billion, according to Forbes. Referring to Mrs. Bettencourt-Meyers as the heir of Liliane Bettencourt, and the granddaughter of Eugène Schueller, founder of L’Oréal, is to overlook the significant achievements that she’s made since taking over the company. To put it bluntly, the share price has more than tripled since she took over in September 2017 and she owns about one-third of it. Her fortune tripled with investments through her family holding company, Téthys Invest.

Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers is also a notable academic and author who’s written various books on religion. Notably, the L’Oreal and the Bettencourt Meyers family donated $226 Million to fix the Notre Dame Cathedral after it caught fire back in 2019.

Current estimated net worth: US$96.5 Billion
Primary source of wealth: L’Oréal
Born: 10 July 1953

Alice walton
Alice Walton | Image: Supplied

2. Alice Walton – $72.2 Billion

The second-richest woman in the world is Alice Walton with a net worth of $72.2 Billion. She inherited a superstore-sized fortune from her father, Walmart founder Sam Walton, and while not involved with the company, she still owns well over US$20 billion in shares (assuming she hasn’t sold any since 2016).

According to most reports, Alice prefers to spend her time and money collecting art. Kriston Capps once wrote in the Guardian that “Walton collects art with the same disregard for fair practices and competition that Walmart shows in the retail sector.” The family donated $120 Million to establish the University of Arkansas ‘School of Art’ which is the first and only accredited, collegiate school of art in the state and home to some serious pieces, including $35 million Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits (1849) from the New York Public Library that was controversially purchased in 2005.

Of course, the buck doesn’t stop there and in 2019, Walton reportedly bought a record-breaking $88.8 million Robert Rauschenberg silkscreen work from 1964 at Christie’s New York.

Current estimated net worth: US$72.2 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Walmart
Born: 7 October 1949

Julia koch
Julia Koch | Image: Supplied

3. Julia Koch – $61.5 Billion

American businessman David Koch died in 2019 and that made his wife Julia a very wealthy individual. Specifically, she and her three children inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries. That’s about everything you need to know about the Kochs.

Current estimated net worth: US$61.5 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Koch Industries
Born: 12 April 1962

Jacqueline mars
Jacqueline Mars | Image: Supplied

4. Jacqueline Mars – $38.5 Billion

There’s big money in candy, evidenced by the fourth richest woman in the world, Jacqueline Mars. She’s the granddaughter of Mars Inc. founder Frank C. Mars, and since taking over the business, it continues to deliver some of the world’s foremost consumer-facing brands in snacking (M&M’S, SNICKERS, SKITTLES, etc.) but also petcare (PEDIGREE, WHISKAS, ROYAL CANIN, AniCura, etc.) and food and nutrition (Ben’s Original, Dolmio, Tasty Bite and Seeds of Change)

According to most reports, Jacqueline owns a third of the Mars empire, while the remaining slices of pie belong to her brother and four nieces who are also among the richest in the world.

While Jacqueline’s primary source of income might not be healthy by any conceivable standard, she puts a lot of money toward several great causes and in addition to owning an organic farm, she consistently donates to educational, environmental, and health-related charities. She has earned accolades in the world of philanthropy with donations to the Australian Outback Doctors and National Symphony Orchestra. She received the first Heritage Award by the National Archives Foundation in 2012.

Current estimated net worth: US$38.5 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Mars
Born: 10 October 1939

Mackenzie scott
MacKenzie Scott | Image: Supplied

5. MacKenzie Scott – $35.4 Billion

It’s no secret how MacKenzie Scott earned her substantial fortune in 2019, but she has plenty of ways to shake it off…about 37 billion ways. After 25 years of marriage, she and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos inked the most expensive divorce settlement in history, granting her 4% of the company. That made her one of the world’s richest women and the third-richest woman in America.

Soon after the divorce, she pledged to donate half her fortune to charity, sending more than $16.5 billion to more than 1,900 nonprofits. However, as noted by, Scott doesn’t donate money through a foundation, which would be required to disclose more information under Internal Revenue Service regulations. Nonetheless, she’s a signed-on member of the Giving Pledge.

“In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she wrote in a letter on the Giving Pledge website. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

Current estimated net worth: US$35.4 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Amazon
Born: 7 April 1970

Miriam adelson
Miriam Adelson | Image: Supplied

6. Miriam Adelson – $34.6 Billion

The words “casino company owner” and “GOP megadonor” should tell you everything you need to know about the Adelson family. Miriam Adelson is the widow of Sheldon Adelson who is the former CEO and chairman of casino company Las Vegas Sands and the man who famously donated $180 million to Republican campaigns.

No matter where you stand politically, you’ll be very happy to know that she’s cashed in on her fortune, selling assets on the Vegas Strip, including the Venetian Resort and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, to Apollo Global and VICI Properties for $6.25 billion. She then invested a portion of it in the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, buying a majority stake with Sivan and Patrick Dumont.

Current estimated net worth: US$34.6 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Las Vegas Sands
Born: 10 October 1945

Savitri jindal
Savitri Jindal | Image: Supplied

7. Savitri Jindal – $31.1 Billion

Savitri Jindal is the widow of Om Prakash Jindal and the chair of the Jindal Group, which has serious financial interests in steel, power, cement and other infrastructure. O.P. Jindal spent his early life making buckets before founding a pipe unit called Jindal India and building one of India’s largest companies over several decades. Tragically, he died in a helicopter crash in 2005, diving the four companies among his four sons, with each of them running the companies independently today.

Savitri Jindal is best known for bringing the Jindal Group to new heights, but more importantly, her philanthropic contributions through the J.D. Jindal Foundation support several educational and healthcare initiatives.

Current estimated net worth: US$31.1 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Jindal Group
Born: 20 March 1940

Gina rinehart
Gina Rinehart | Image: Supplied

8. Gina Rinehart – $30.2 Billion

The 8th richest woman in the world, and the richest person in Australia, Georgina “Gina” Hope Rinehart is the daughter of iron ore explorer Lang Hancock, founder of Hancock Prospecting. Since becoming executive chairwoman in 1992, Gina Rinehart transformed the company and has been making rare earth and resources investments ever since. Most recently, Hancock Prospecting and Chilean mineral company SQM acquired lithium outfit Azure Minerals in Western Australia for $1.1 Billion.

Her philanthropic ventures have a strong focus on health and helping young people. It was revealed that she has donated $60m to the Australian Olympics since their underwhelming performance in 2012, and more recently, $16m to the Royal Flying Doctor.

Current estimated net worth: US$30.2 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Hancock Prospecting
Born: 9 February 1954

Abigail johnson
Abigail Johnson | Image: Supplied

9. Abigail Johnson – $30 Billion

After working at Fidelity Investments for 26 years, company President Abigail Johnson took over as CEO in 2014. Two years later, she was named Chairman. The company was founded by Johnson’s grandfather over 70 years ago and currently has over US$2.7 trillion in managed assets.

With her triplicate of job titles and estimated 24.5% stake in the company, Johnson wields copious amounts of power and controls 45,000 employees across the globe. As of 2019, she’s one of the richest women in the world and another example of someone rising well above their inheritance.

Current estimated net worth: US$30 Billion
Primary source of wealth: Fidelity Investments
Born: 19 December 1961

Rafaela aponte diamant
Rafaela Aponte-Diamant | Image: Supplied

10. Rafaela Aponte-Diamant – $28.6 Billion

If you can look past the detrimental effects of large-scale shipping on the environment, Rafaela Aponte-Diamant and her husband Gianluigi hold one of the biggest heart-throb billionaire stories of all time. They started with a $200,000 loan and entered the shipping industry together in 1970. Little did they know that venture would lead to a $53 Billion fortune, with each holding a 50% stake in MSC, the world’s largest shipping line.

These days, Rafaela spends her time decorating ships for MSC Cruises, while Gianluigi is MSC’s executive chairman, and their son, Diego, is the president of the company. While tough to track, the MSC Foundation’s total donations are more than $13 million.

Current estimated net worth: US$28.6 Billion
Primary source of wealth: MSC
Born: 26 March 1945

You FAQs Answered

Who is the richest woman in the world?

Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers is the richest woman in the world with a net worth of $96.5 Billion. She is the granddaughter of Eugène Schueller, founder of L’Oréal. However, she is uber-successful in her own right and the share price has more than tripled since she took over the company in September 2017.

Who is the richest self-made woman in the world?

Rafaela Aponte-Diamant is the richest self-made woman with a net worth of $28.6 Billion. She and her husband Gianluigi founded the world’s largest shipping company, MSC, after taking out a $200,000 loan together in 1970.

How much is Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife worth?

Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott is worth $35.4 Billion. She plans to continue donating to the thousands of non-profit organisations until ‘the safe is empty’ as per a recent quote.