Top 10 Richest Women in the World 2024: Leading Billionaires Shatter the Glass Ceiling

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In a world historically dominated by male wealth and power, an increasing number of women are breaking through and establishing themselves as billionaires. In 2024, the net worth of the world’s wealthiest individuals has surged significantly, with a noticeable rise in the number of female billionaires compared to the previous year.

According to Forbes, out of 2,781 billionaires globally, women now represent 13.3% of the total billionaire population in 2024, up from 12.8% in 2023. This marks a significant increase and highlights the growing influence of women in global wealth creation.

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the L’Oréal heiress, remains the world’s richest woman for the fourth consecutive year. Forbes tracks the wealth of billionaires worldwide, and as of April 2024, here are the top 10 richest women in the world.

Top 10 Richest Women in the World in 2024

The Forbes list showcases the success stories of women entrepreneurs and heiresses. In 2024, the top 10 richest women have amassed a combined net worth of over $1.8 trillion, an increase of about $240 billion from the previous year, underscoring their substantial impact on the global economy.

1.Françoise Bettencourt Meyers

Leading the list for the fourth year in a row is Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of the L’Oréal founder. With a net worth of $98.2 billion, her wealth is largely derived from her nearly 35% stake in the cosmetics giant L’Oréal Group, known for brands such as Maybelline and Lancôme. Under her leadership, L’Oréal has continued to thrive, boasting billions in revenue. Bettencourt Meyers first appeared on the Forbes billionaires list in 2018 with a net worth of $42.2 billion, and her fortune has more than doubled since then.

2.Alice Walton

Alice Walton, the richest woman in America, is second with a net worth of $77.2 billion. Her wealth surged due to a 34% increase in Walmart’s share price over the past year. Known for her philanthropy and art collection, she founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, which features works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell, and Mark Rothko.

3.Julia Koch

Julia Koch, widow of David Koch, holds the third spot with a net worth of $66.3 billion. She inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries, a diverse conglomerate with interests in oil refining, medical technology, and paper products. Koch Industries is one of the largest private companies in the world, with revenues exceeding $100 billion. Julia Koch is also a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

4.Jacqueline Mars

Jacqueline Mars, heiress to Mars Inc., ranks fourth with a net worth of $39.4 billion. Alongside her family, she owns the iconic candy and pet food company, known for brands like M&Ms, Snickers, and Pedigree. Mars Inc. is one of the largest privately held companies in the world, with revenues exceeding $35 billion. The company was founded by her grandfather, Frank C. Mars, who began selling buttercream candy from his kitchen in 1911.

5.Savitri Jindal

Savitri Jindal, the richest woman in India, holds the fifth spot with a net worth of $38.0 billion. She leads the Jindal Group, overseeing businesses in steel, power, cement, and infrastructure. The Jindal Group is one of the largest business conglomerates in India, with revenues exceeding $15 billion. Following the death of her husband, Om Prakash Jindal, in a helicopter crash in 2005, the group’s companies were divided among their four sons, who now run them independently.

6.Rafaela Aponte-Diamant

With a net worth of $33.7 billion, Rafaela Aponte-Diamant co-founded MSC, the world’s largest shipping line, with her husband, Gianluigi Aponte. Their company, founded in 1970, has grown to dominate the global shipping industry, operating over 500 vessels in more than 155 countries. Rafaela Aponte-Diamant is responsible for decorating the ships for MSC Cruises, the company’s cruise line. The Aponte family entered the shipping industry with a $200,000 loan to buy their first ship.

7.MacKenzie Scott

MacKenzie Scott, with a net worth of $35.5 billion, is a prominent philanthropist and the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos. Following her divorce, she received a 4% stake in Amazon and has since donated billions to various causes, including education, science, and the arts. Her philanthropic efforts have made her one of the most generous donors in the world, with her lifetime giving totaling $17.3 billion as of March 2024.

8.Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart, with a net worth of $30.8 billion, chairs Hancock Prospecting Group, a major mining and agriculture company in Australia. Her fortune has increased by 14% since 2023, driven by the growth of the mining industry and her company’s expansion into new markets. Hancock Prospecting Group is involved in the exploration and production of iron ore, coal, and other minerals, as well as cattle farming and agricultural projects.

9.Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson, with a net worth of $29.7 billion, leads Fidelity Investments, a major mutual fund company. She owns a significant stake in the firm and has been instrumental in its success, overseeing $4.9 trillion in managed assets. Johnson took over as CEO of Fidelity Investments in 2014, succeeding her father, Edward “Ned” Johnson III, who passed away in 2022. The company was founded by her grandfather in 1946.

10.Miriam Adelson

Miriam Adelson, with a net worth of $29.7 billion, inherited a significant stake in Las Vegas Sands after her husband Sheldon Adelson’s passing. A prominent physician, she has donated over $1 billion to medical research and drug discovery, making her one of the most generous philanthropists in the world. Adelson and her family own more than half of Las Vegas Sands, one of the world’s largest casino operators, with properties in Las Vegas, Macau, and Singapore.

These women have not only amassed immense wealth but have also significantly contributed to various industries and philanthropic causes, demonstrating that the glass ceiling can indeed be shattered.

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