Women around the world occupy 11.9% of the global share of billionaires, according to Billionaire Census 2020 report by WEALTH-X.
Although the overall tier of billionaires is still a very much a boys' club, richest women in the world have certainly made progress.
Sixty-eight percent of the female philanthropist's total source of wealth is inherited and 20% is Inherited/Self-made, while only 5% male have inherited and 20% Inherited/Self-made their wealth. Moreover, only 12% women billionaires are self-made while male billionaires amount 67% of the category, according to the report.
Using the Real-Time Billionaires List by Forbes, we examined the net worth of the top richest women, who occupy the 100 billionaires list as of today's data.
The richest woman in the world, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and family own 33% of stock in L'Oréal SA, a French personal care brand. The 68-year old billionaire's net worth is $73.6 billion. In April 2019, L'Oréal and the Bettencourt Meyers family pledged $226 million (€200 million) towards the repair of the Notre Dame cathedral after its devastating fire.
Following closely behind is Alice Walton, 72, of the Walmart empire—also the world's richest family. Together with her brothers, they own over 50% of the company's shares. That's a pretty tidy sum, considering Walmart raked in $524 billion in revenues in their 2020 fiscal year. Her net worth is $61.5 billion.
The third place is grabbed by MacKenzie Scott, 51, with a net worth of $53.0 billion. MacKenzie was heavily involved in the early days of turning Amazon into an e-commerce behemoth. She was involved in areas from bookkeeping and accounts to negotiating the company's first freight contract. Her high-profile divorce from Jeff Bezos captured the headlines, notably because she gained control over 4% of Amazon's outstanding shares.
However, MacKenzie Scott has more altruistic ventures in mind for this wealth. In 2020, she gave away $5.8 billion towards causes such as climate change and racial equality in just four months, and is a signatory on the Giving Pledge. She recently married a Seattle science teacher, who promptly declared he plans to help give away most of their wealth to charity.
Other family ties among the richest women in the world include Julia Koch & family of the Koch Industries, United States, with a net worth of $46.4 billion.
Jacqueline Mars and her four granddaughters - heiresses to a slice of the Mars Inc. fortune in candy and pet food— all of them make to this list with $31.3 billion.
Looking towards the East, Yang Huiyan became the richest woman in Asia after inheriting 70% of shares in the property development company Country Garden Holdings. The company went public in 2007, raising $1.6 billion in its IPO—an amount comparable to Google's IPO in 2004. To aid frontline health workers during the pandemic, Country Garden Holdings set up robotic, automated buffet stations to safely serve medical staff in Wuhan, China.
Female billionaires who made it to the list include: Germany's Susanne Klatten (59) with $27.7 billion, Australia's Gina Rinehart (67) with $23.6 billion, Chile's Iris Fontbona & family with $23.3 billion, United States' Abigail Johnson (60) with $20.9, United States' Laurene Powell Jobs & family with $19 billion, China's Zhong Huijuan (60) with $19 billion.