It used to be that the world of business was a man’s world. Times have really changed, as women have shown that they can really hold their own. Here is a list of the top 20 women billionaires in the world today.
20. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus – $6 billion
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is a Russian who took over her husband’s company after he passed away in 2009. She was able to bring back an agricultural focus into her company, even raising $350 million from a perpetual bond issue in Singapore.
19. Rosalia Mera – $6.1 billion
Rosalia Mera used to be a seamstress, a job she took after dropping out of school when she was only 11. She got married and she and her husband specialized in dressing gowns and lingerie. Their company, Inditex, is now one of the most successful retailers in the world, as it is behind the stores called Zara.
18. Eva Gonda Rivera – $6.6 billion
Eva Gonda Rivera owns with her daughters half the B shares of FEMSA, the biggest independent distributor of Coca-Cola in the Latin American region. They got the shares after her husband passed away in 2008.
17. Savitri Jindal – $7.6 billion
Savitri Jindal is the Chairman of OP JIndal Group, a steel and power corporation in India founded by her late husband. The company’s fortunes have been falling the past few years, though she still has more than enough to make it to the list.
16. Elaine Marshall – $8 billion
Elaine Marshall is the wife of the late J. Pierce Marshall, the sole inheritor of 14.6 percent of Koch Industries. After he passed away, the stake in the company was transferred to his wife.
15. Antonia Johnson – $9.1 billion
Antonia Johnson heads the Axel Johnson Group, a Swedish company that deals with food, energy, telecom, security, real estate and industrial products.
14. Johanna Quandt – $10.6 billion
Johanna Quandt inherited her wealth from her late husband, who had rescued BMW from bankruptcy. In 2012, the company had a banner year with record-breaking sales and an increase in its stock price.
13. Laurene Powell Jobs – $10.7 billion
Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. She is the largest single shareholder of Walt Disney Co., with stock value that is double of her shares in Apple. She is considered to be the richest woman in Silicon Valley.
12. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken – $11 billion
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken got her wealth from the 25 percent controlling stake in the beer giant Heineken. She inherited the shares from her late father, Freddy Heineken. The company has more than 170 premium brands under its name and has a presence in more than 65 countries worldwide.
11. Dirce Navarro de Camargo – $11.5 billion
Dirce Navarro de Camargo used to chair Camargo Correa, a business conglomerate founded by her late husband. The company has interests in cement, construction and energy. She served in the company until 1996, though she retains her stake.
10. Anne Cox Chambers – $12 billion
Anne Cox Chambers is a director of Cox Enterprises, a company founded by her late father, James M. Cox. The company has interests in cable through Cox Communications, newspapers, television and radio through Cox Media Group and car auctions through Manheim. It also owns AutoTrader.com.
9. Miuccia Prada – $12.4 billion
Miuccia Prada is the granddaughter of the founder of the fashion house called Prada. She is the lead designer while her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, handles the business side and serves as the Chief Executive Officer. The company further expanded in the past year with new outlets in the rich gulf states of Kuwait and Abu Dhabi.
8. Abigail Johnson – $12.7 billion
Abigail Johnson is the President of Fidelity Financial Services, a company involved with asset management, brokerage and retirement and benefits services. She is being groomed as the successor to her father, Edward Johnson, who is the current CEO of the company.
7. Susanne Klatten – $14.3 billion
Susanne Klatten is the daughter of the late Herbert Quandt, the man who rescued BMW from near bankruptcy. Klatten owns 12.6 percent of the car manufacturer, which registered record sales because of its impressive numbers in the US and China.
6. Jacqueline Mars – $17 billion
Jacqueline Mars is one of the owners of Mars, Inc., the largest candy company in the world, which further expanded in 2008 with its purchase of Wrigley’s Gum. She owns it with her two brothers after inheriting the company when their father passed away in 1999.
5. Georgina Rinehart – $17 billion
Georgina Rinehart is an Australian national who made her wealth in the mining business. The prices of iron ore have been falling for the past year, however. It cut significantly to Rinehart’s net worth by over a billion, though she still has enough to make it to the top five.
4. Iris Fontbona – $17.4 billion
Iris Fontbona is the majority owner of Antofagasta, one of the largest miners of copper in the world. She inherited the shares of her husband, who passed away in 2005. Her three sons also hold the shares.
3. Alice Walton – $26.3 billion
Alice Walton is part of the family that owns Wal-Mart. She is considered to be the most generous donor in her family. She has given substantial amounts to Washington D.C.’s charter schools, as well as to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas.
2. Christy Walton – $28.2 billion
Christy Walton inherited her money after her husband, John Walton, passed away in 2005 due to a plane crash. With the increase in the price of the stock of Wal-Mart, Walton’s value has gone up considerably. She is considered the richest woman in the United States.
1. Liliane Bettencourt – $30 billion
Liliane Bettencourt owns over a third of L’Oreal with her family. She inherited her wealth from her father, the company’s founder. She is already 90 years old.
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