This year, 328 women made the Forbes billionaires list, which is a steady increase from 241 last year. When grouped, the women on the list have a net worth of about $1.53 trillion, a nearly 60% increase over the past year. This year they collectively added about $570.7 billion to their net wealth, mainly due to rebounding stock markets across the globe. Given below is a list of the top 5 richest women in the world according to Forbes’ this year:
1. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers & family
Bettencourt Meyers inherited her fortune and place on board since 1997 from her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, whose father, Eugene Schueller, founded cosmetics giant L’Oréal. The company’s profit fell about 6 percent in 2020 during the pandemic peak, partly due to the less need for makeup during the quarantine period. Yet, the company was able to recover steadily and gain a profit of 38% in 2021 due to the rising demand for skincare products when the peak of the pandemic was over
2. Alice Walton
Sam Walton’s daughter Alicia Walton previously held the spot as the world’s richest woman but lost it this year to Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. Her company still managed to gain $7.4 billion in the past year, thanks to Walmart stock rising more than 5% since mid-March 2020. Recently, the retailing giant introduced free delivery as part of an Amazon Prime-like membership program, which helped boost their online sales by about 69% in the year from January.
3. MacKenzie Scott
MacKenzie Scott, who was previously married to Amazon founder, ended their marriage in 2019. She ranked third in the list and became the most significant philanthropist of the pandemic and gave away $5.8 billion as grants to around 500 nonprofit organizations across the U.S. that supported causes including racial equity, LGBTQ+ rights, and public health. Julia Koch and Family
4. Julia Koch
Julia Koch, the widow of David Koch and her children, has a 42% stake in the family business, Koch Industries. The Koch Industries was declared as America’s largest private company per revenue last year. She presently sits on the board of directors of the $115 billion conglomerate in which David’s older brother Charles holds the position of chairman and owns a 42% stake.
5. Miriam Adelson
Miriam Adelson presently controls the 56% stake in the casino operator, Las Vegas Sands, previously owned by her husband, Sheldon Adelson. During the pandemic, the company lost a staggering $985 million in the second quarter of 2020 when its two Vegas casinos and resorts had to be shut down due to statewide lockdowns. The casinos reopened again in June 2020 but experienced a net loss of $1.69 compared to $2.7 billion in profits in the previous year.
See also: Top 5 Fastest-Growing Economies 2021