Safra Catz, co-president of Oracle Corp., speaks at the opening night of the Oracle OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco, California.

Richest self-made women in America

Written by:
June 21, 2022
Kim Kulish // Corbis via Getty Images

Richest self-made women in America

After several decades of major strides in the American workforce, the number of women in positions of leadership or running their own companies has exploded. There are more self-made women millionaires and billionaires today than ever before, despite an uncontrolled gender wage gap that in 2022 is $0.82 for every $1 a man makes.

Stacker collected data from Hurun Research Institute’s March 2022 report on the world’s self-made women billionaires. It is interesting to note that San Francisco is the city with the most self-made billionaire women (4), while Los Angeles is in second place (3). And perhaps depressing to note that the combined net worth of everyone on this list is $16.3 billion, or around 11% of Jeff Bezos' net worth. 

Wealth valuations are from Jan. 14, 2022. If an individual's shares are held jointly—say, with their husband—individual shareholdings were broken out where possible. When this wasn’t possible, a 50/50 split was assumed. “Self-made'' in this context means wealth that was not inherited. It doesn’t take into account whether inherited wealth or privilege helped in the creation of independent wealth. Please note: The data source presumed a binary gender classification. The people on this list use the personal pronouns she/her, as of June 2022.

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Whitney Wolfe Herd speaks on stage during keynote conversation
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#25. Whitney Wolfe Herd (tie)

- Global rank: #116
- Wealth: $1 billion
- Main Company: Bumble
- Main industry: Dating App

Before founding the dating app Bumble, Whitney Wolfe Herd started her career in Silicon Valley as the vice president of marketing for Tinder, which she eventually left and filed a claim against for sexual harassment. She has said her experience with the toxic culture at Tinder was directly related to her founding of Bumble, which is based on the idea that women make the first move in communicating with men.

Rihanna celebrates the launch of FENTY at Bergdorf Goodman
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Dimitrios Kambouris // Getty Images

#25. Rihanna (tie)

- Global rank: #116
- Wealth: $1 billion
- Main Company: Fenty Beauty
- Main industry: Personal Care

Robyn Rihanna Fenty may be a global pop superstar, but the real origins of her wealth come from her beauty company. Fenty Beauty was launched in 2017 and quickly catapulted Rihanna’s net worth into another stratosphere. The company is known for creating shades for a wider range of skin tones than other beauty companies offer.

Woman with a bright red manicure and silver rings holds a large purple leather purse
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#23. Yang Lin

- Global rank: #107
- Wealth: $1.1 billion
- Main Company: VeSync
- Main industry: Consumer Goods

Yang Lin is the founder, chairperson, and CEO of VeSync Co., a small appliance manufacturer. The company is ranked third in U.S. retail sales generated through the behemoth retailer Amazon.

Syntel logo is displayed on a smartphone
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#22. Neerja Sethi (tie)

- Global rank: #99
- Wealth: $1.2 billion
- Main Company: Syntel
- Main industry: Enterprise Software

Neerja Sethi co-founded IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel in the 1980s. The French IT firm Atos SE bought Syntel in 2018 for $3.4 billion. Sethi received $510 million for her stake, which went a long way in bumping up her net worth.

Henrik Fisker and Geeta Gupta attend an art show
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#22. Geeta Gupta (tie)

- Global rank: #99
- Wealth: $1.2 billion
- Main Company: Fisker
- Main industry: Autonomous vehicle

Geeta Gupta co-founded the electric vehicle company Fisker Inc. in 2016. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2020 when it debuted via an SPAC merger. Gupta owns a 20% stake in the company.

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Elaine Wynn testifies in court
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Boston Globe // Getty Images

#20. Elaine Wynn

- Global rank: #94
- Wealth: $1.3 billion
- Main Company: Wynn Resorts
- Main industry: Gambling

Elaine Wynn co-founded her family’s eponymous resort and casino business Wynn Resorts. The Las Vegas doyenne is an avid art collector. She told The Wall Street Journal that her purchase of the most expensive piece ever sold at auction (at the time of sale)—a Francis Bacon triptych—spurred offensive speculation that the paintings must have been purchased by men.

Door with logo at office of Confluent
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#19. Neha Narkhede (tie)

- Global rank: #79
- Wealth: $1.6 billion
- Main Company: Confluent
- Main industry: Cloud Solutions

Neha Narkhede is the co-founder and former chief technology officer of cloud solutions company Confluent. Narkhede is an alumnus of LinkedIn, where she developed a software system that enabled the networking site’s huge amount of data. That software system became the basis for Confluent.

Michelle Zatlynspeaking on stage
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Sam Barnes // Getty Images

#19. Michelle Zatlyn (tie)

- Global rank: #79
- Wealth: $1.6 billion
- Main Company: Cloudflare
- Main industry: Cyber Security

Prior to being the co-founder and COO of cybersecurity firm Cloudflare, Michelle Zatlyn held leadership positions at Google and Toshiba and launched two successful startups. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School and was awarded the Dubliner Prize for Entrepreneurship.

Kim Kardashian attends the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
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Arturo Holmes // Getty Images

#17. Kim Kardashian

- Global rank: #65
- Wealth: $2 billion
- Main Company: SKKN
- Main industry: Personal Care

Kim Kardashian became a household name thanks to her family’s hit TV series, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” But the reality TV star made her real fortune branching out into personal care products. The superstar’s SKKN beauty line—formerly known as KKW—was prompted by Kardashian’s self-described desire to give people at-home access to dermatologist-quality skincare without a doctor’s office visit.

An exterior view of fashion retailer Gap's Oxford Street store
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Ben Pruchnie // Getty Images

#16. Doris Fisher

- Global rank: #61
- Wealth: $2.1 billion
- Main Company: Gap, Inc.
- Main industry: Apparel & Textile Products

Doris Fisher co-founded the ubiquitous American clothing retailer Gap, Inc. Fisher founded the brand with her husband when they struggled to find jeans that fit him, fitting into a familiar mold of founding companies in response to a need in their own life. Fisher is also a co-founder and major supporter of the KIPP Foundation, which supports public charter schools.

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Meg Whitman speaks during a keynote address
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ROBYN BECK // Getty Images

#15. Meg Whitman

- Global rank: #55
- Wealth: $2.3 billion
- Main Company: eBay
- Main industry: E-Commerce

Meg Whitman spent a decade at the helm of e-commerce pioneer eBay. During Whitman’s tenure as CEO between 1998 and 2008, she grew the company from $5.7 billion to $8 billion in sales. She was subsequently the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, where she oversaw the company’s split into two entities.

Bio-Rad Laboratories logo seen displayed on a smartphone
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#14. Alice Schwartz (tie)

- Global rank: #52
- Wealth: $2.4 billion
- Main Company: Bio-Rad Laboratories
- Main industry: Pharmaceuticals

Alice Schwartz is the oldest woman billionaire in the world. She co-founded the life sciences research and pharmaceutical company Bio-Rad Laboratories in the 1950s when female founders were far less common than they are today—and in life sciences, no less. She and her husband launched Bio-Rad with only a little more than $700 in savings between them.

Wallet in hand with a large stack of money
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#14. Chrissy Luo (tie)

- Global rank: #52
- Wealth: $2.4 billion
- Main Company: Shanda
- Main industry: Investments

Chrissy Luo made her fortune as an early pioneer in digital entertainment. She co-founded Shanda Interactive Entertainment in the late 1990s, anticipating the wave of digital entertainment and media that would upend both industries in ensuing decades. The company has since transformed into a private investment firm.

Sheryl Sandberg takes the stage during a session
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Scott Eisen // Getty Images

#12. Sheryl Sandberg

- Global rank: #45
- Wealth: $2.6 billion
- Main Company: Facebook (Meta)
- Main industry: Media

Sheryl Sandberg may be best known for writing the controversial bestseller “Lean In,” which advised women to take charge of their own careers and destinies. But Sandberg’s fortune didn’t come from book sales. Rather, it comes from her early involvement and decades of experience as COO of Facebook, the social networking giant—a position she announced in June 2022 that she's stepping down from.

Arista Networks logo seen on a smartphone
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#10. Jayshree Ullal (tie)

- Global rank: #37
- Wealth: $2.8 billion
- Main Company: Arista Networks
- Main industry: Networking Solutions

Jayshree Ullal has served as president and CEO of the computer networking firm Arista since 2008. She owns 5% of Arista’s stock, which contributes significantly to her net worth. Ullal also sits on the board of Snowflake, a public cloud computing company.

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Oprah Winfrey speaks during Oprah's 2020 Vision
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Steve Jennings // Getty Images

#10. Oprah Winfrey (tie)

- Global rank: #37
- Wealth: $2.8 billion
- Main Company: Oprah Winfrey Network
- Main industry: Entertainment

Oprah Winfrey's eponymous “The Oprah Winfrey Show” made her a household name from 1986 until its final episode in 2011. She went on to found her own TV network, which is where she derives the majority of her wealth today.

Gail Miller walks off court in a NBA game
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Gene Sweeney Jr. // Getty Images

#9. Gail Miller

- Global rank: #36
- Wealth: $3 billion
- Main Company: Larry H. Miller
- Main industry: Automobile Distribution

Gail Miller is the owner and chairwoman of Larry H. Miller. The group of companies has held at various points everything from sports teams to vast automotive dealings. Miller is now focused on health care, among other industries she sees as the way of the future.

Lynda Resnick attends a gala
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#8. Lynda Resnick

- Global rank: #34
- Wealth: $3.1 billion
- Main Company: Roll International
- Main industry: Food Processing

Lynda Resnick is vice-chairwoman and co-owner of The Wonderful Company, which is best known for distributing various health food products, from pistachios to seedless lemons. Known for her marketing prowess, Resnick was nicknamed “POM Queen” after making the company’s POM Juice a wild success.

Peggy Cherng and Andrew Cherng attend a gala
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Emma McIntyre // Getty Images

#7. Peggy Cherng

- Global rank: #32
- Wealth: $3.2 billion
- Main Company: Panda Express
- Main industry: Restaurants

Peggy Cherng is the co-founder of the Chinese fast-food company Panda Express. The company boasts more than 2,000 locations worldwide and nearly $4 billion in sales. In recent years, Cherng has also invested in hotels, including the legendary Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.

Safra Catz prepares to deliver a keynote address
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Justin Sullivan // Getty Images

#5. Safra Catz (tie)

- Global rank: #29
- Wealth: $3.3 billion
- Main Company: Oracle
- Main industry: Software & Services

Safra Catz has been the CEO of Oracle since 2014, and sat on the board of directors since 2001. In addition to her duties at the software and services company, Catz’s net worth also comes from her position as a director of The Walt Disney Company.

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Zhang Xin speaks into a microphone
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VCG // Getty Images

#5. Zhang Xin (tie)

- Global rank: #29
- Wealth: $3.3 billion
- Main Company: SOHO China
- Main industry: Estate Holding

Zhang Xin leads the real estate company Soho China along with her husband. Prior to working at Soho China, she cut her teeth at firms such as Goldman Sachs and Travelers Group. The U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group said in June 2021 that it would buy the majority of SOHO China for more than $3 billion.

A black womans handbag full of money
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RomanR // Shutterstock

#4. Judy Faulkner

- Global rank: #22
- Wealth: $4.6 billion
- Main Company: Epic Systems
- Main industry: Healthcare

Judy Faulkner founded health care company Epic Systems in 1979 in a Wisconsin basement. It is now the largest company of its kind in the U.S. As the CEO, Faulkner owns 47% of the multibillion-dollar company.

Johnelle Hunt before a Arkansas Razorbacks game
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Wesley Hitt // Getty Images

#3. Johnelle Hunt

- Global rank: #21
- Wealth: $4.7 billion
- Main Company: JB Hunt Transport Services
- Main industry: Logistics

Johnelle Hunt may be one of the richest women in the world today, but it wasn’t always this way for her. Hunt and her husband had to sell their home and take out loans to start their rice trucking business decades ago. Today, that company has evolved and grown into a multibillion-dollar empire, of which Hunt is the largest individual shareholder.

Love's Truck Stop in Shartlesville
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Bill Uhrich // Getty Images

#2. Judy Love

- Global rank: #12
- Wealth: $6.5 billion
- Main Company: Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
- Main industry: Multi-Brand Retail

Far from the modern world of technology and Silicon Valley, Judy Love’s empire began with a humble gas station. She and her husband took out a $5,000 dollar loan to open their first gas station in the 1960s. Today, that business has expanded to almost every state in America and does more than $25 billion in annual sales.

Exterior view of a ABC Supply Co. building
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Eric Glenn // Shutterstock

#1. Diane Hendricks

- Global rank: #6
- Wealth: $9 billion
- Main Company: ABC Supply
- Main industry: Construction Materials

Diane Hendricks made her fortune in construction at ABC Supply. But today, the billionaire has turned her attention to post-industrial towns that she believes she can revitalize, such as Beloit, a Wisconsin town that has fallen on hard times in recent years, and which Hendricks hopes can be transformed into a magnet for startups and founders.

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