Who are America’s richest self-made women?

Building supply distributor Diane Hendricks tops the list with a net worth of $15 billion

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Building supply distributor Diane Hendricks has been ranked the richest self-made woman in the US with record net worth of $15 billion, up from $12.2 billion last year, according to business magazine Forbes.

Ms Hendricks topped the list for the sixth consecutive year asrevenue at ABC Supply surged 25 per cent to $18.5 billion last year, supported by a residential construction boom and the company’s expansion and acquisitions, according to a report on Thursday.

Judy Love and family, founder of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, a convenience store chain that provide services to lorry drivers, was ranked second with a net worth of $10.2 billion.

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Judy Faulkner, founder of healthcare software company Epic Systems, was ranked third with a net worth of $7.4 billion.

Rounding off the top five were Lynda Resnick, co-owner of privately held The Wonderful Company, with a fortune of $5.3 billion, and Thai Lee, co-founder of IT solutions provider SHI International, with a net worth of $4.8 billion.

“This list is a testament to the hard work and success of these women,” said Kerry Dolan, assistant managing editor of wealth at Forbes.

“We continue to see women breaking records and increasing their influence and power along with their fortunes, and each year new women in a variety of industries break into these ranks.”

Forbes ranks the most successful female entrepreneurs, executives and entertainers in the US every year.

Bolstered in part by a rebound in the stock market, they are cumulatively worth a record $124 billion, up about 12 per cent from a year ago.

The Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and volatile stock markets took a toll on the combined wealth of the world’s richest people, which slipped 3 per cent to $12.7 trillion over the past year, down from a record $13.1 trillion in 2021.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the granddaughter of French pharmacist and L’Oreal founder Eugene Schueller, is 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 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 fortunes of the wealthiest people on the planet.

There are 2,640 billionaires in the world, down from 2,668 last year and the record of 2,755 in 2021, Forbes said.

This year’s Forbes ranking of the richest self-made women in the US features 24 billionaires – the same number as a year ago.

They include Panda Express restaurant chain co-founder Peggy Cherng in 10th position with a net worth of $3.1 billion, talk show host and producer Oprah Winfrey in 13th position with a fortune of $2.5 billion, singer and businesswoman Rihanna in 20th position with a net worth of $1.4 billion and reality TV star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian in 21st position with a $1.2 billion fortune.

Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, the cosmetics company that she co-owns with French luxury retailer LVMH, doubled its revenue in 2022. She also has a 30 per cent stake in the Savage x Fenty lingerie line, which raised money at a $1 billion valuation in February 2021.

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift is now the second richest self-made woman in music, with a net worth of $740 million, according to Forbes.

The list also features eight newcomers, including packaging supplies company Uline president Elizabeth Uihlein (ninth position); Iman Abuzeid (77th), chief executive of healthcare staffing company Incredible Health; and Shonda Rhimes (96th), creator of the ABC hits Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and Netflix hit Bridgerton.

Women featured on the list have built careers in a range of industries, including health care, entertainment, financial services and technology.

Artificial intelligence is helping to drive up the fortunes of semiconductor company AMD’s chief executive Lisa Su and Insitro chief executive Daphne Koller, a computer scientist whose San Francisco company is using machine learning to develop drugs more quickly, Forbes said.

Ten richest self-made women in the US and their net worth

  1. Diane Hendricks: $15 billion
  2. Judy Love and family: $10.2 billion
  3. Judy Faulkner: $7.4 billion
  4. Lynda Resnick: $5.3 billion
  5. Thai Lee: $4.8 billion
  6. Johnelle Hunt: $4.4 billion
  7. Gail Miller: $4.2 billion
  8. Marian Ilitch: $4 billion
  9. Elizabeth Uihlein: $3.7 billion
  10. Peggy Cherng: $3.1 billion

Source: Forbes

Updated: June 02, 2023, 7:07 AM