Women in the U.S. are increasingly taking the center stage in business and finance. As someone who is passionate about the financial empowerment of women, I love going through the annual Forbes America’s Richest Self-Made Women list to learn about the most successful female entrepreneurs, entertainers, and executives. This year’s list highlights 100 women, double the number on the inaugural 2015 list.
These women, worth a collective $90 billion, play critical roles as leaders, job-creators, and influencers across many industries, ranging from cosmetics and entertainment to building rockets and making Covid-19 tests.
I highly recommend you go through the full list because it is a fascinating and very inspirational read. Here are my 7 personal favorites.
#26 – Tory Burch
Net worth: $750 million.
Fashion mogul Tory Burch is a mom of three. Her preppy-chic lifestyle brand brings in $1.5 billion in sales from apparel, footwear, watches, accessories, and fragrances.
I personally can’t imagine my summer wardrobe with a pair of Tory Burch flip flops. Tory Burch has a charitable foundation that has been helping women entrepreneurs since 2014.
#32 – Sara Blakely
Net worth: $610 million.
Sara Blakely, a mom of four, is the founder and owner of shapewear brand Spanx, which sells undergarments, leggings, swimwear, and maternity wear in over 50 countries.
Let’s admit it, we all have some Spanx goodies in our closet that hug our curves in all the right places.
#33 – Rihanna
Net worth: $600 million.
Source: cosmetics, music.
Despite her astonishing musical success, Rihanna made the most of her fortune from Fenty Beauty. The company generated an estimated $600 million in revenues in 2019. Fun fact: did you know Fenty is Rihanna’s last name?
#40 – Madonna
Net worth: $550 million.
Madonna became the first female entrepreneur to appear on the Forbes cover in 1990. One of the world’s top pop divas, Madonna grossed an estimated $1.2 billion in her career.
The “queen of pop”, who also a mom of six, is one of the most influential figures of our generation, in my opinion.
#47 – Kendra Scott
Net worth: $510 million.
Kendra Scott’s fortune comes from her jewelry company, which has sales of about $360 million. Scott started making jewelry out of her spare bedroom in Austin, Texas in 2002 after she couldn’t find color gemstone jewelry she could afford.
Funny enough, that’s exactly how I stumbled upon kendrascott.com – I was looking for an elegant turquoise necklace that would not cost me an arm and a leg.
#58 – Danielle Steel
Net worth: $385 million
The beach-read romance queen Danielle Steel has published more than 170 books copies over her four-decade career, selling 800 million copies worldwide. Her books have been translated into 43 languages, including Russian (my teen-self can attest to that).
With two proposals on Valentine’s Day, five marriages, and nine children, Danielle Steel is a fascinating person whose life resembles her novels.
#87 – Maria Sharapova
Net worth: $200 million
Last but not least, Maria Sharapova – my favorite female athlete of all time. Maria retired from a two-decades-long professional tennis career in 2019 with five Grand Slam titles.
Maria’s $39 million in career prize money is third all-time among women. But she earned most of her fortune from sponsors and appearances (an estimated $300 million).
Maria was Forbes’ highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years.
Sharapova launched a premium candy brand “Sugarpova“, which posted sales of $20 million in 2019.
The Bigger Picture
There you have it, girl – my personal 7 favorite ladybosses of our time.
Behind every name on this Forbes list is a story of hard work, perseverance, and dedication. List members range in age from 23 to 94; they come from all over the U.S. and have made their fortunes in a wide range of industries, from roofing to tech. Some of them started their business after they turned 40!
I hope they inspire you to go for your dreams and create the life that you love.
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