There Are More Self-Made Female Billionaires Than Ever Before

There Are More Self-Made Female Billionaires Than Ever Before

We may still be a ways away from closing the gender pay gap, but the record number of female entrepreneurs who made it onto this year’s Forbes Billionaires List, released Monday, should give us a little hope that victory’s still in the cards.

Of the 227 female billionaires on the list, 56 are self-made, up from 42 in 2016.

Here’s a snapshot of the 15 ladies on the list responsible for growing their own fortunes:

  1. Zhou Qunfei, $7.4B; Citizenship: Hong Kong; Source of Wealth: smartphone screens
  2. Marian Ilitch and family, $6B; Citizenship: United States; Source of Wealth: pizza, sports team
  3. Chan Laiwa and family, $5.6B; Citizenship: China; Source of Wealth: real estate
  4. Pollyanna Chu, $4.9B; Citizenship: Hong Kong; Source of Wealth: financial services
  5. Wu Yajun and family, $4.5B; Citizenship: China; Source of Wealth: real estate
  6. Lam Wai Ying, $4.1B; Citizenship: Hong Kong; Source of Wealth: smartphone screens
  7. Diane Hendricks, $3.9B; Citizenship: United States; Source of Wealth: roofing
  8. Rafaela Aponte, $3.75B; Citizenship: Switzerland; Source of Wealth: shipping
  9. Denise Coates, $3.6B; Citizenship: United Kingdom; Source of Wealth: online gambling
  10. Zhang Xin and family, $3.2B; Citizenship: China; Source of Wealth: real estate
  11. Oprah Winfrey, $3B; Citizenship: United States; Source of Wealth: TV shows
  12.  Zhang Xiaojuan, $2.9B; Citizenship: China; Source of Wealth: logistics
  13. Giuliana Benetton, $2.7B (tied); Citizenship: Italy; Source of Wealth: fashion retail, investments
  14. Johnelle Hunt, $2.7B (tied); Citizenship: United States; Source of Wealth: trucking
  15. Rita Tong Liu, $2.7B (tied); Citizenship: Hong Kong; Source of Wealth: real estate

The full list also includes the likes of Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Spanx founder Sara Blakely, a bunch of other very accomplished women whose names you may not immediately recognize and, of course, many, many men. But the fact that women are filling in the ranks (the percentage of women on the list has nearly tripled in the past ten years) really isn’t a bad way to round out Women’s History Month. So cheers to these hard-working boss ladies and those who came before them.

RELATED: How Women's Finances Can Differ from Men's

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