There Are 15 New Self-Made Women On This Year's Forbes Billionaire List

Photo: Linh Luong Thai/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Forbes has released its Billionaire List, which tracks the world's richest people, and depressingly (but not surprisingly), only 2.7% of the people on it are women. Still, the proportion has almost tripled from from 1% a decade ago, and while most of the women inherited their fortunes, a quarter are self-made. In fact, this year's list contains a record-breaking number of female self-made billionaires.
There were 227 women total, including 56 self-made ones, 15 of whom were new to the group. The U.S. has the most billionaires total and the most women on the list — 74, to be exact. Next was Germany with 28, then China with 23. China also has the most self-made billionaires on the list, with 21, followed by the U.S. with 17, Hong Kong with five, and the U.K. with three.
The U.S. had one new self-made woman: Thai Lee, the owner of SHI, which resells computer software and hardware. Diane Hendricks and Oprah Winfrey, who were the top two self-made women in the U.S. last year, remained on the list.
Vietnam saw its first self-made woman to be included: Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, President and CEO of the international airline VietJet Air. Japan also got a female self-made billionaire onto the list for the first time, too: Yoshiko Shinohara, former chairman of the human resources company Temp Holdings.
The richest self-made woman is Hong Kong's Zhou Qunfei, who founded Lens Technology, the company that makes phone screens for Apple and Samsung.
The richest woman in the world overall is Liliane Bettencourt, the French heiress and principal shareholder of L'Oreal, who's worth $39.5 billion. Then came Alice Walton, the American heiress of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, who has a net worth of $33.8 billion and topped the list in 2015.
Though the billionaire list's gender disparity serves as a reminder that women continue to make less than men no matter how established they are, it's somewhat encouraging that eight of the self-made women had a net worth even higher than Donald Trump's $3.7 billion, according to Forbes.

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