Female Billionaires – Lots of 'Em – Grace Forbes' 2014 Lists

Thursday, 29 May 2014 07:21 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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Female billionaires, politicians, media moguls and more round out Forbes’ list of the 100 Most Powerful Women of 2014 released Wednesday.

This year, in addition to many top positions being filled for the first time by a woman, such as Janet Yellen’s appointment to Federal Reserve chair, more than 10 percent of the 1,645 on Forbes’ World Billionaires list are women. Among them: Walmart heiresses Christy and Alice Walton, L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, Mars candy’s Jacqueline Mars, and BMW stakeholder Susanne Klatten.

Forbes is quick to point out that this year there are 13 women that grace both the billionaire’s list and the 100 Most Powerful list, and 10 of them are self-made — meaning they didn’t inherit their fortunes.

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The self-mades include 43-year-old Spanx founder Sara Blakely, the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, and 47-year-old Tory Burch, “whose $200 ballet flats helped her join the three comma club.” Oprah and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman (who previously ran eBay for 10 years) also make the shortlist for the self-made billionaires.

Beyond having a lot of money however, Time magazine also breaks down four additional ways females can be named the most powerful: Become a leader in technology, become an influential politician or financier, amass a large following on social media sites like Twitter, or have a diversified portfolio that includes a powerful combination of the above.

The first category includes leaders-in-their-field like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer; the second category encompasses political titans like President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff, President of South Korea Geun-hye Park, and President of Argentina Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; social media moguls include singer Shakira with the most followers on the entire Facebook platform — 93 million — and Chinese actress Yao Chen with 66 million followers on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter).

The last category is embodied by women like actress Sophia Vergara of TV’s mega-hit “Modern Family.” She’s known best for her acting, but surely makes much more through endorsement and licensing deals, chief amongst them being her Kmart fashion line.

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