Women are catching up

Women are catching up JLE

Men are top of the pile when it comes to earnings – even in the big leagues – but women are on the ascent.

The news that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has been pronounced the richest man – ever – left us open mouthed in the office. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, Bezos is worth a brain scrambling $150 billion (about €128 billion). 

When adjusted for inflation that makes him the wealthiest individual in modern times. Microsoft’s Bill Gates look positively impoverished at the no 2 spot with his $55 billion (€45 billion).

It’s a baffling amount of money (a billion is 1,000,000,000) and there are now more billionaires in the world than ever before. It may not come as much of a surprise though that women are woefully underrepresented on the list of the world’s most wealthy.

The richest woman on the 2018 Forbes World Billionaires List is Alice Walton, in at number 16, who is worth $46 billion (€39 billion). Walton is the only daughter of Walmart founder, Sam Walton so she inherited much of her money. In fact, eight of the ten richest women on the Forbes list inherited their money, while two received a family business but grew it substantially. 

The world’s wealthiest self-made woman, coming in at a net worth of $7.4 billion (€6.3 billion) is Zhou Qunfei, the Chinese founder and CEO of Lens Technology.

According to the Wealth-X Billionaire Census (yes, that’s a thing) billionaire wealth increased by 24 per cent to a record level in 2017. The billionaire population now boasts 2,754 individuals and, while the money is still predominantly with the men, women are making a good go at catching up. The Forbes billionaires list included 256 women – an all-time high – with a collective net worth of over $1trillion (€1.13trillion).

Wealthx also reports that the number of female billionaires rose by 18, outpacing the growth of male billionaires. Again many women had inherited serious cash but the number of self-made women increased from 56 last year to 72.

There's a while to go yet but every self-made woman excelling can only make it a little easier for those that follow. Even if we suspect we'd need a couple of Lotto wins to get on a rich list any time soon...

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