Who are the world’s 10 wealthiest women in 2023?

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers has topped the list for the third year in a row with a net worth of $80.5 billion, Forbes says

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Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of French pharmacist and L’Oreal founder Eugene Schueller, is once again the world’s richest woman with a net worth of $80.5 billion.

Ms Meyers has topped the Forbes 2023 World Billionaires List for women for the third year running.

The 10 richest women in the world have a combined net worth of $402.6 billion — up slightly from $401 billion in 2022, with the majority inheriting their wealth, according to Forbes, which used stock prices and exchange rates from March 10 to calculate the personal fortunes of the wealthiest people on the planet.

There are 2,640 billionaires in the world, down from 2,668 last year — and an all-time high of 2,755 in 2021, Forbes said.

However, the world’s wealthiest people are still “overwhelmingly male”, with only 337 women — or 13 per cent — making it to the list, Forbes said.

The majority of Ms Bettencourt Meyers’s wealth comes from her 33 per cent stake in the L'Oreal Group, the French beauty and skincare company.

The company, founded more than 100 years ago, brought in revenue of $38.2 billion in 2022 and employs more than 85,000 people globally, Forbes said.

“L'Oreal's stock rose by 12 per cent over the past year thanks to strong demand that led to better-than-expected earnings and record sales for 2021.”

Julia Koch, who inherited a 42 per cent stake in Koch Industries along with her three children when her husband, David, died in 2019, moved up one spot to be the world’s second-richest woman with a net worth of $59 billion.

Walmart heir Alice Walton, the only daughter of the company's founder, Sam Walton, dropped to third place with a personal fortune of $56.7 billion.

Jacqueline Mars — who inherited an estimated one third of Mars Incorporated, the sweets and pet food conglomerate behind brands such as M&M’s — moved up one place on the list and is the world’s fourth-wealthiest woman at $38.3 billion.

Meanwhile, Miriam Anderson, who has a 50 per cent stake in Las Vegas Sands, increased her wealth by $7.5 billion over the past year and moved up two places to be the fifth-richest woman on the planet with a net worth of $35 billion.

Switzerland’s Rafaela Aponte-Diamant, who owns MSC, the world’s largest shipping line, with her husband, Gianluigi, makes her debut on the Forbes list as the sixth-richest woman in the world with a net worth of $31.2 billion.

Coming in at seventh is Germany’s Susanne Klatten, who owns about 19 per cent of car maker BMW, with a fortune of $27.4 billion.

Mining tycoon Gina Rinehart — Australia’s richest person — is the eighth-wealthiest woman on the planet with a net worth of $27 billion, down from $32.2 billion in 2022.

Perhaps this year’s biggest drop on the wealthiest women’s list is Mackenzie Scott.

The former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has dropped from fourth place to ninth this year with a fortune of $24.4 billion, down from $43.6 billion in 2022.

Ms Scott, 52, received a 4 per cent stake in Amazon as part of her 2019 divorce settlement from Mr Bezos, the world's third-richest person.

Since her divorce, Ms Scott has become one of the world's most generous philanthropists after signing the Giving Pledge in 2019.

Rounding out the top 10 is Chile’s Iris Fontbona with a net worth of $23.1 billion.

Ms Fontana, 80, inherited her wealth from her late husband, Andronico Luksic, who built a fortune in mining and beverages before his death in 2005, Forbes said.

World's top 10 wealthiest women in 2023

  1. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers — $80.5 billion
  2. Julia Koch — $59 billion
  3. Alice Walton — $56.7 billion
  4. Jacqueline Mars — $38.3 billion
  5. Miriam Anderson — $35 billion
  6. Rafaela Aponte-Diamant — $31.2 billion
  7. Susanne Klatten — $27.4 billion
  8. Gina Rinehart — $27 billion
  9. Mackenzie Scott — $24.4 billion
  10. Iris Fontbona — $23.1 billion

Source: Forbes

Updated: April 10, 2023, 6:18 AM