Meet the Women Who Are Richer Than Oprah

Meet the Women Who Are Richer Than Oprah

If you want to find the world’s richest women, head to China.

According to new Hurun Report rankings, half of the self-made wealthiest women around the globe are Chinese: The country is home to 14 of the 28 female entrepreneurs with over $1 billion in assets.

Their stunning success is especially notable given the country’s past. Just 10 years ago, China had no billionaires at all—of either gender. (As of last year, there were already 64.) And the nation's history of gender discrimination makes these stats even more remarkable.


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As Quartz notes, the country's one-child policy has resulted in an overall preference for male children and a subsequent lack of education for young girls. Today, just two women hold positions on China’s 25-member executive political committee, and women are still largely discounted in the country’s male-dominated business culture.

But, it seems, Chinese women are quickly surpassing their male counterparts when it comes to riches. After all, not a single man on this year's list of the top 10 richest male billionaires is from China. What's more, super-rich women are generally younger than their male counterparts: the average age of China's richest women is 48, compared to 52 among men.

Many of these self-made women also hold remarkable rags-to-riches success stories: Zhang Xin, a 48-year-old real estate tycoon who’s now richer than Oprah Winfrey, previously toiled in a garment factory. She now has a net worth upwards of 3.6 billion.

RELATED: Female Billionaires Are on the Rise

While women in China may still have grounds to gain in the political realm, they’ve certainly made remarkable progress in the corporate world. Today, 51% of all senior management positions in China are held by women, according to a 2013 report by accounting firm Grant Thornton.

That’s currently the highest percentage of female execs across the world—and far outpaces the U.S.’s 20% figure.


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