From the Walton heiresses to the Bettencourt ladies, the “Richest Woman in the World” tag has been duopolized by two families over the past decade.
The world is floating in money. Currently, there is approximately $37 trillion floating in physical currencies on the planet. And if this swoons you off, one can only imagine the real figure given that we can never estimate how much illicit money is running the world (or underworld to be precise). However, this is not our concern today because out of the total 2,095 billionaires around the world, we have compiled the top 10 list starting from the richest woman in the world in 2020. Some of these phenomenal women were born with a silver spoon while others have inspiring rags to riches stories. But first, who was the richest woman for every year in the bygone decade? Here’s the list—
Who Is The Richest Woman In The World (2010-2019)?
|Françoise Bettencourt Meyers||2019|
Out of these 2,095 billionaires on the planet, 244 were women as of March, 2020.
Our list of the 10 richest weman billionaires across the world scrutinizes their net worth and the source of their humongous wealth generation.
Here’s Top 10 Richest Women In The World 2020 — Walton-Bettencourt Rule The Roost
Net Worth: $72.8 billion
The French heiress of L’Oreal Françoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest woman in the world. Her grandmother Eugene Schueller was the founder of L’Oreal and joined the board in the year 1997. The French heiress succeeded her mother Liliane Bettencourt as the chairwoman of the family’s holdings in the business in 2017. 67-year-old Françoise, along with her family, owns 33% stake in the French personal care company headquartered in Paris.
Watch: The Riches of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
Apart from L’Oreal, Françoise is also the President of her family’s philanthropic foundation dedicated to progressing France in arts and sciences. During the Notre Dame fire in April 2019, L’Oreal and its founding family together donated $266 million for the repair and renovation. Among Meyers’ luxurious assets are a Classical villa in Paris, a mansion off the Brittany coast, and an island in Seychelles.
Françoise Meyers Biography
- Full Name: Françoise Bettencourt Meyers
- Date of Birth: July 10, 1953
- Occupation: Non-Executive Chairwoman and Owner, L’Oreal
- Residence: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
- Partner: Jean-Pierre Meyers
- Nationality: French
Net Worth: $69.8 billion
America’s richest woman is a member of the richest family in the world. Alice Walton is the only daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. The source of the wealth of the second richest woman in the world might be Walmart but she does not actively participate in running the international store chain. Instead, America’s richest woman holds unconditional admiration for art and doesn’t mind splurging insane amounts of money on the same.
Watch: The Story of Alice Walton’s Riches
In 2011, Alice opened the $500 million Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, her hometown. The museum holds the work of America’s notable artists like Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and others. Earlier this year, 71 years old Alice Walton announced her plan to lay out a holistic health institute in her home town Bentonville in Arkansas.
Alice Walton Biography
- Full Name: Alice Louise Walton
- Date of Birth: October 7, 1949
- Education: Trinity University
- Residence: Mineral Wells/ Millsap, Texas, USA
- Occupation: Heiress, Walton Family fortune and Board Member, Aron Carter Museum
- Nationality: American
Net Worth: $58.7 billion
An author, ex-employee at Amazon and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, 50-year-old Mackenzie Scott is the third richest woman in the world, catapulted into unfathomable fortune after her split with the world’s richest man in the world’s richest divorce settlement, Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos transferred 25% of his stake in Amazon to his ex-wife. This 25% converts to total 4% stake in Amazon.
Watch: Lesser known side of Mackenzie Scott
Soon after the divorce, McKenzie Scott signed the Giving Pledge in May 2019 and by July 2020, she had given away $1.7 billion in charity to 119 NGOs. This was also the time when she changed her last name from Bezos to Scott. Scott was notable author Toni Morrison’s student at Princeton and worked as her research assistant. She is the published author of two novels.
Mackenzie Scott Biography
- Full Name: Mackenzie Scott Tuttle (formerly Bezos)
- Date of Birth: April 7, 1970
- Education: Princeton University
- Residence: Seattle, Washington, USA
- Occupation: Novelist, Philanthropist
- Designation: Executive Director, Bystander Revolution
- Past Work: D.E. Shaw Hedge Fund
- Nationality: American
Net Worth: $44.9 billion
After her husband David Koch died in August 2019, Julia Koch and her three children acquired 42% stakes in the Koch Industries and is now the fourth richest woman in the world and third in the US. Koch’s career ranges back in the fashion industry during which she worked with some notable clients like First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Watch: Julia Koch with her now deceased husband David Koch
She kick started her career in fashion in the 1980s where she worked as assistant to fashion designer Adolfo in New York. Julia Koch has been an active philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to the health centres and hospitals for children.
Julia Koch Biography
- Full Name: Julia Flesher Koch
- Date of Birth: January 1, 1963
- Residence: Southampton, New York, USA
- Occupation: Philanthropist, Fashion Designer, NY Socialite
- Nationality: American
Net Worth: $29.5 billion
Yang Huiyan is the board member of the Chinese real estate developer Country Garden Holdings and currently owns 57% stakes in the organization. A considerable portion of this stake was inherited by Huiyan through her father in 2007. Huiyan is the richest woman in China.
Watch: Yang Huiyan’s journey to becoming a Billionaire
At the age of 39 years, Yang Huiyan is also the chairwoman of a Chinese education company listed on New York Stock Exchange, Bright Scholar Education Holdings.
Yang Huiyan Biography
- Full Name: Yáng Huìyán (pinyin), 杨惠妍 (Chinese)
- Date of Birth: July 20, 1981
- Education: Ohio State University
- Residence: Foshan, China
- Designation: Majority shareholder (55%), Country Garden Holdings
- Nationality: Chinese, Cypriot
Net Worth: $28.9 billion
The world’s sixth and America’s fourth richest woman in 2020 is heiress and investor, Jacqueline Mars who served the country’s biggest candy company Mars Inc till 2016. She joined as Food Product Group President in 1982 and retired as the board member of the company that was founded by her parents Audrey Ruth and Forrest Mars.
Watch: How Jacqueline Mars invested her Wealth
81 years old Jacqueline currently owns one-third of Mars and is also on the board of multiple organizations including the National Archives and Smithsonian.
Jacqueline Mars Biography
- Full Name: Jacqueline Mars
- Date of Birth: October 10, 1939
- Education: Miss Hall’s School, Bryn Mawr College (Anthropology)
- Residence: The Plains, Northern Virginia, USA
- Designation: Food Product Group President, Mars Inc. (1982-2001)
- Board Member/ Trustee: US Equestrian Team, Washington National Opera, National Sporting Library, Fine Arts Museum, National Advisory Council of the Journey through Hallowed Ground
- Nationality: American
- Donor: League of Conservation Voters
Net Worth: $25.8 billion
Germany’s richest woman is economist, investor, business women and heiress, Susanne Klatten, the sole owner and chairwoman of her grandfather’s Altana AG, the company she toiled hard to turn into an international pharmaceutical and specialty chemical leader. The company’s annual turnover now exceeds $2.5 billion every year.
Watch: Susanne Klatten’s journey to becoming the richest woman in Germany
58 years old Klatten also owns 19.2% stakes in the luxury automobile behemoth BMW saved by her father Herbert Quandt during unprecedented losses. The list doesn’t end here. Sussane Klatten also has a significant stake in carbon and graphite manufacturers SGL Group and wind power organization Nordex AG.
Susanne Klatten Biography
- Full Name: Susanne Hanna Ursula Klatten (née Quandt)
- Date of Birth: April 28, 1962
- Education: University of Buckingham and IMD-Lausanne (MBA)
- Residence: Munich, Germany
- Occupation: Holdings in Altana and BMW
- Past Work: Young & Rubicam, Dresdner Bank, McKinsey, Bankhaus Reuschel & Co.
- Board Member: University Council of the Technical University of Munich
- Nationality: German
- Donor: Centre-Right party Christian Democratic Union
Net Worth: $20 billion
A reluctant name of the richest woman list, Laurene Powell Jobs is the founder and president of Emerson Collective which is an organization working on education, immigration reforms, media and journalism, environment and health. After her husband Steve Jobs died, Laurene inherited his stocks in Apple and Disney worth multi billion dollars. Apart from leveraging her fortune for philanthropic acts through Emerson Collective, she is also an avid investor.
Watch: Apple’s Secret Billionaire Laurene Jobs
Laurene acquired a stake in the parent of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals in 2017. She also has stakes in multiple media outlets including entire California Sunday and Popup Magazine and majority of Atlantic Magazine.
Laurene Jobs Biography
- Full Name: Laurene Powell Jobs
- Date of Birth: November 6, 1963
- Education: University of Pennsylvania (BA, BS), Stanford University (MBA)
- Residence: Palo Alto, California, USA
- Designation: Owner, Steve P. Jobs Trust (Shareholder, The Walt Disney Company and Apple Inc.)
- Other Positions: Co-founder, Terravera Natural Foods | Co-owner, Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Capital (NHL) and Capitol One Area | Founder, Emerson Collective (Owner, The Atlantic and Axios)
- Past Companies: Merrill Lynch Asset Management, Goldman Sachs
- Board of Directors: Achieva
- Donor: Democratic Party (Major backer of Hillary Clinton (2016), and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (2020)
- Nationality: American
Net Worth: $18.3 billion
Zhong Huijuan is the chairwoman of the leading Chinese drug manufacturer Hansoh Pharmaceutical and owns more than three-fourth of the company. The company is listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and produces drugs of the oncology, psychoactive, antidiabetic and other categories. Huijuan is China’s second richest woman.
Watch: How Zhong Huijian went from being a Chemistry teach to a Billionaire
Additionally, Zhong’s husband too is a pharmaceutical leader and a billionaire heading Jiangsu Hengrui Medicines, listed on Shanghai exchange.
Zhong Huijuan Biography
- Full Name: Zhong Huijuan
- Year of Birth: 1961
- Residence: Shanghai, China
- Designation: Chairwoman, Hansoh Pharmaceuticals
- Nationality: China
Net Worth: $16.4 billion
Not just Australia’s richest woman but the richest person down under and the queen of the iron ore industry, Gina Rinehart is the executive chairperson of the Hancock Prospecting which was owned by her father in a rather insolvent state. Gina Rinehart not only fetched the estate out of the financial distress, she also made herself a space in the list of the most powerful people in Australia and the world.
Watch: How Gina Rinehart turned around her fortune
She became the executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting Group in the year 1992 and since then, the group scaled up from investing just into the iron sector to gold, copper, potash, coal, cattle, property and dairy. One of the highlights of Rinehart’s career is the Roy Hill mining project in 2015 under which Hancock Prospecting started shipments to Asia. Under her leadership, the group has reached the pedestal of legacy with achievements like most successful private mining companies in Australia and the world and the most successful private company in the history of Australia.
Gina Rinehart Biography
- Full Name: Georgina Hope “Gina” Rinehart (née Hancock, formerly Hayward)
- Date of Birth: February 9, 1954
- Education: St. Hilda’s School, University of Sydney
- Residence: Hawthorne suburb of Brisbane, Australia
- Designation: Chairwoman, Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited (HPPL) Group of companies
- Donor: Progress Party
- Nationality: Australian
The Big Question!!
When the 2020 list of Richest Women in the World was announced in early in the year in April, Alice Walton was leading the lot in terms of net worth. In September 2020, Mackenzie Scott saw her net worth shoot beyond both Walton and Meyers to the number one spot. However, the L’Oreal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers has since then overtaken both her American billionaire peers to become the Richest Woman alive in the World in 2020