When it comes to powerful women with money, whether rightly or wrongly, people tend to assume that they either came from a wealthy family or married in to it. On this list there are definitely women who received a huge head start in their life by being born to the right (extremely rich) parents, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are spoiled airheads! Not every heiress acts like a Paris Hilton, in fact these women earned their “richest women” title by working hard with what they had, and making it grow in to even more. Sure, they may be billionaire babies, but these are the rare form of rich kid who decided to be disciplined and work hard, rather than post the spoils of their wealth on Instagram all day.
You may not have heard of some of these names, but trust me, they’re extremely powerful! Heck, a couple of them are more powerful than the leaders of their own countries… because their bank accounts can actually buy them a country all to their own! Beyoncé who? She may be a billion dollar brand making $100 million a year, but her bank account still can’t compare to the wallets of these women. Here are ten of the richest women in the world today which proves that females can play better than the big boys sitting on top the corporate ladder… because you know they’d just kick them off that ladder with their killer Louboutin’s
#25. Lydia Hearst 100 Million
Lydia Hearst is the total package: she’s rich, comes from a good family, and works as a fashion model! Basically Lydia is the reason why I cry at night: she is perfection. Hearst is both a philanthropist and a Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile, which may come as a surprise for those of you who didn’t realize that somewhere in the world there exist official smile ambassadors; she’s on a mission to put a smile on the faces of less fortunate children.
In addition to her already prestigious careers, Lydia has also found success as a blogger, and is an heiress to a publication empire that was established by her great grandfather, William Randolph Hearst: talk about being a lucky kid! Old money definitely has its perks, since the truth is that she’ll never have to struggle a day in her life. No money? Well, maybe we can eat the words that I’m writing so that one day I can be as fab as Lydia. Hashtag envious!
#24. Donatella Versace 200 Million
Donatella is well-known for her vigilante career as a crime fighting ninja turtle (no wait, that’s Donatello). Oh, right, she’s actually the head of “Versace,” one of the most well-known fashion houses in the world, which was inherited from her wealthy brother Gianni upon his passing in 1997.
Donatella’s current net worth is around $200 million, which may not sound like much, but that’s only because she gave away 70% of the Versace company to her daughter and other brother. Still, 30% at 200 mil? Not freaking bad! In recent years she has attempted to supplement her income by pursuing the real estate market with her first official target being Dubai; she must have something going for her as she ended up marrying a model and having two kids: some people just have it all, don’t they?
#23. Allison Saraofim 1.5 Billion
Fayez Sarofim is the current heir to the Sarofim family fortune, but as he is gaining in the years he has delegated the fortune to his daughter, Allison. Allison doesn’t seem all that interested in the investments and business that generated her family’s fortune initially, as she (like so many others) is drawn in to the art of filmmaking; she became an actress and producer, starring in and producing films like “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and Lake City.
If there is one thing that Allison Sarofim loves more than being on screen it’s being in costume: every year she hosts an elaborate Halloween costume party and invites droves of celebrities to attend; each year she dresses up in a more elaborate outfit than the last and ensures that the attention for the evening is on her. How she intends to spend her billions on crazy costumes and alcohol is beyond me, but if she keeps bankrolling her own films in an attempt to be a star she might find herself as a hobo for next year’s Halloween party.
#22. Anna Anissimova 2 Billion
Anna Anissimova is pretty much the Russian equivalent of Paris Hilton: she was born into a wealthy family, and now lives out her life as a celeb icon in both fashion and entertainment. Anna’s father is Vasily Ansimov, a billionaire who built his immense fortune by controlling a great deal of the metal trade in the mid to late 1900s. After Anna’s sister was murdered at the hands of the Russian mafia, she was sent to America for her personal safety, and with her went one hell of a trust fund.
Anna tried everything she could get her hands on but nothing would stick: she initially failed at modeling, dropped out of college, couldn’t cut it in real estate, and finally decided she wanted to be an actor; now Anna is married to Peter Schafer, the film producer, and has starred in a fair amount of high budget films. Anna may have more money than she will ever need in her lifetime but she wants to build her own success and there is something profoundly admirable in that. Piece of advice, Anna: if you want to cut it in this industry you have to take a page out of your father’s book and have nerves of steel.
#21. Anna Getty $2.4 Billion
Back in 1966 when the Guinness Book of World Records was one of the most prestigious places you could find yourself in, the staff nominated J. Paul Getty as the richest private citizen alive: he had founded the “Getty Oil Company” and built a substantial amount of wealth. Paul was considered to be miserly to a fault, and even negotiated the price of his grandson’s ransom when he was taken hostage. Paul loved art, and today you can still find his extravagant art museums and community centers all over California.
Paul great granddaughter is Anna Getty, and the current holder of the Getty fortune; she’s a former actress who later decided to become a yoga instructor. Anna’s current business is a health friendly line of eco products and a series of DVDs that promote eating right and living a more active healthier lifestyle. Healthy living is so important to Anna that she involves herself with various health based nonprofit organizations like “Healthy Child Healthy World,” and the “Environmental Media Association.” You’ve got to love the irony of an oil magnate having his fortune trickle down to a health nut.
#20. Liesel Pritzker $2.7 Billion
You might remember Liesel as a child actress who starred aside Harrison Ford in the film “Air Force One,” but what you might not know is that she inherited a mega fortune in the form of the Hyatt Hotels. When Liesel first decided to try out professional acting she adopted a fake name in order to avoid conflict with her divorced parents on which last name to use; you have got to love the super rich trying out careers like a hat: it must be nice to just wake up one day as a kid and decide you would like to try being a professional actor.
When acting wasn’t everything she imagined, Liesel decided that she would like to go into theatre, and she appeared in performances of “To Kill a Mockingbird” as the character, Scout. Liesel’s parents were supportive of her decisions, and so she repaid them in the only way she knew how: suing them for six billion dollars; she filed a suit against her parents and 11 cousins stating that they had misappropriated trusts that had been intended for her and her brother and the result was that the case was settled out of court: if that were my kid they’d need a Hyatt Hotel when they were done because that’s where they’d be staying at.
#19. Ivanka Trump 3 Billion
Ivanka Trump is another beauty that didn’t shy away from playing (and mastering) a game that only the big boys play. Ivanka is the daughter of magnate (and occasional WWE talent— seriously, he was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame) Donald Trump; she must have inherited some of her father’s business savvy, because she graduated summa cum laude of her class at Wharton School of Business. Ivanka has also starred on her father’s popular television show, “The Apprentice,” where she has led and managed some of the shows teams, and even got to mutter the show’s big phrase: “you’re fired.”.
Ivanka is more recognized than her brother Donald Jr. because, well… I personally think it’s because she’s just easier on the eyes, and we all know that Donald Jr is going to be rocking a thin comb-over like his dad in a few years. I don’t foresee Ivanka ever sporting the infamous Trump hairstyle: that’s what weaves are for; thank the heavens that there are hair services for women!
#18. Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer 3.2 Billion
Don’t you just love it when your grandparents found a multibillion dollar company and it all just trickles down to you over time? Oh, that hasn’t happened to you either? Aerin Lauder is the heiress of “Estee Lauder Companies,” which was founded by her grandfather Joseph, and her grandmother of which the company was named after. Estee Lauder Companies deals primarily with cosmetic lines, and Aerin quickly warmed up to the idea of the business: she worked at the business during college as a general associate intending to learn the ins and outs of the trade.
These days Aerin is the style and image director of the Lauder name and has her own successful branded line named after herself; she stills owns 16 million shares, which means that her vast wealth isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. More recently Aerin moved out to New York with her husband and kids, in an effort to live closer to the headquarters of the company they manage, and just like they were wearing the cosmetics lines they peddle: they’re looking dang good.
#17. Tamara Ecclestone 3.6 Billion
Racing fans out there know that the industry leader in organizing events is Formula One, which is managed by “FOA.” FOA’s chief executive was Bernie Ecclestone, who at one point was the richest man in the UK, but now his accumulated billions are being passed down to his lovely daughter Tamara. Tamara got involved with her father’s racing company at a young age, and when she was old enough to serve as a host and commentator she became the official presenter for the Formula One events being released.
Tamara got married in 2002 to Jonathan Ketterman, but after 11 years the marriage took a “turn” for the worse and her husband was found guilty of trying to blackmail her. After make a fast recovery that only young billionaires can do, Tamara got remarried a few months later to Jay Rutland, and they soon after welcomed a baby girl to the family. At the height of the blackmail scandal Ecclestone did the unthinkable: she posed for the May issue of Playboy magazine to show off what a billion dollar body looks like… turns out it just looks like envy to me.
#16. Holly Branson 3.8 Billion
Holly Branson is the daughter of billionaire daredevil, Sir Richard Branson, but before you complain about how she got rich solely because of her pedigree— think again: miss Holly is one smart cookie! Branson finished med school and worked in the neurology department of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital so she knows how to screw with your brain. Do you really want to be lobotomized? Because I’m pretty sure that behind her pretty face lies a dark side that comes out when you mess with her!
Holly is also very involved with her father’s empire, “Virgin Group” which is made up of more than 400 companies. Despite her privileged upbringing, Holly Branson seems to have inherited her father’s humanitarian heart: she travels all around the world and does what she can to help with charitable causes. Holly’s life is filled with responsibility and expectation but her business and philanthropic pass times might be temporarily halted for a bit: she’s expecting twins! Holly has stated that she wants to give her kids the best kind of upbringing she can, and that includes having a mother at home.
#15. Jocelyn Wildenstein 3.8 Billion
Jocelyn is famous all over the internet and has been dubbed as the “Catwoman.” The truth is that Jocelyn is the woman that I secretly aspire to be when I grow up: mostly because she has been deemed to be clinically insane by some and she just doesn’t seem to give a damn about the haters! Jocelyn lives such an extravagant and lavish lifestyle that her food bill alone is around $550,000 per year! All I can think about is how much Top Ramen that could net me.
Jocelyn’s divorce settlement granted her a whopping $2.5 billion, and on top of that sweet deal she also receives an additional $100 million per year for the next thirteen years: sign me up for the best failed marriage of my life. The downside of Jocelyn’s newly acquired mega money? She is not allowed to use any of her inherited money for additional plastic surgery: it figures since she looks so… uhm, different. I mean Jocelyn only has herself to blame for looking as silly as she does, or maybe her doctor is secretly a horrible person who’s primary goal is to make his patients look like swollen munchkin cats.
#14. Elizabeth Holmes 4.5 Billion
Oh Elizabeth! She established a company that is currently valued at just over $8 billion dollars using the money that her parents had saved up for her: no old money here! Elizabeth’s success is the product of pure perseverance, and the natural resilience of a strong woman; she used her blood, sweat, and tears to become richer (or maybe the tears of her competitors). Elizabeth is now one of the youngest billionaires in America because of her efforts, and it’s all because she decided to drop out of college to focus on the growth of her business!
What’s most shocking about Holmes’s corporate decisions was her strategy of keeping her company’s business a secret. I mean, it succeeded! She successfully kept a huge secret from her parents and now has a personal net worth of $4.5 billion! Now, how do I go about informing my mother that I need to drop out of university so that I too can become a billionaire? Face the facts, mom, this has been a long time coming!
#13. Dylan Lauren 4.7 Billion
Dylan Lauren (who seems like her name should be reversed) is the daughter of the incredibly famous Ralph Lauren, so chances are she probably walks around in some rather well designed outfits. Unlike her father, Dtlan had no intentions of going into the fashion industry: she had a much sweeter idea in mind; in 2001, she opened “Dylan’s Candy Bar which is self proclaimed to be the largest candy shop in the entire world, stocking over 7,000 candies that are imported from around the globe.
Dylan says that she was inspired to go into the candy business when she saw Willy Wonka at the age of 5, and I guess when you have a few billion dollars at your disposal that movie looks a bit more like a documentary. Although Dylan isn’t a fashion designer herself, she does love the complexities of fashion and has a long list of her favorite designers (which includes her father); when she got married to Paul Arrouet in 2011 she wore a wedding dress that had dad designed, which is probably the sweetest and most touching thing a father can hope for: no matter how much money he has.
#12. Hind Hariri 5.5 Billion
The Hariri family is the subject of one of the biggest scandals in the business world, and the source is Hind’s father, Rafic Hariri. Rafic was the Prime Minister of Lebanon for 10 years, and during his time in office he headed five cabinets and rebuilt Beirut, which had been destroyed during a fifteen year civil war. Apparently not everyone was happy to hear about Rafic’s success, because while he was traveling with a motorcade past the St. George Hotel, 1800 kilograms of TNT was detonated on his vehicle: killing him, and making his daughter immensely wealthy.
Hariri is one of the youngest billionaires alive today, and she intends to keep it that way: she intentionally stays out of the spotlight as much as possible, and has campaigned for her family in Lebanese elections rather than herself, in an effort to stay out of the spotlight. Hind decided that for her the best thing she can do is enjoy her wealth and start a family, so in 2009 she married a man named Mohammed Anas Al Karout and had two sons: Mohammed and Rafik.
#11. Josie Ho 7 Billion
If you want to be a billionaire you have to take some serious chances, and that’s exactly what Stanley Ho did when he founded a series of casinos in Macau. Despite the nature of Stanley’s business he actually had very little chance of failure, because the government granted him a monopoly in his area and since all establishments ran under his name he came to be known as “The King of Gambling.” Stanley needed someone to pass his luck on to, so he had a daughter named Josie, and she became a billionaire before she could walk.
Josie wasn’t one for the gambling scene, and she ended up pursuing a career in the arts as a singer and an actor. Josie’s father didn’t support her decision to become a singer, so in order to show him she was going to do exactly what she wanted to she starred in a handful of films as a prostitute. Standley was probably worried about tarnishing his family’s name, but honestly is anyone walking around saying good things about casino owners anyways? At least when Josie screws someone it’s all pretend!
#10. Alannah Weston 7.9 Billion
Alannah is the heiress of the Weston family fortune, which as built through a chain of supermarket retail stores and bakeries. The Weston family is the second wealthiest family in Canada, and it’s hard to go more than a few hours without finding one of their chains. In 2004 Alannah took over as the creative director for Selfridges, and ten years later she was named as the deputy chairman of the Selfridges Group, following an increase of 50% in sales since she was appointed.
Not only are shareholders happy with the growth that Alannah has created, but the Canadian public is also incredibly happy with the changes that have been taking place: in the last three years it has been voted twice as the “World’s Best Department Store.” So what is there left to do when a young female billionaire already has an amazing career and reputation? Get married of course! Mrs. Weston married an architect by the name of Alexander Cochran to which she had two daughters, and her kids are currently being coached on how to handle the company’s affairs: you’ve got to start those billionaires out young.
#09. Amanda Hearst 8.7 Billion
If you have ever heard of the Hearst Corporation then you’ll know just how large and impactful it was to New York: it single handedly revolutionized the Newspaper industry, and elevated the standard for what was expected of a media publication. Hearst Corporation was founded by William Randolph Hearst, who would later start a family so there would be an heir to his fortune: the current owner of the Hearst fortune is William’s great granddaughter, Amanda Hearst, although she isn’t as concerned with her family’s work as her parents were.
Amanda wanted to use her vast wealth to raise awareness of the inhumane treatment of animals, so she founded an organization named Friends and Finn that is dedicated to preventing the mistreatment of dogs in puppy mills. Amanda has never had to fully work to support herself and has instead chose to spend her life working with various nonprofit organizations like the “Riverkeeper’s Junior Council.” As a way to try and create an organization that is self sustaining as well as promotes her positive message, Hearst has created a new line of ethical fashion that is hitting markets: if only she had some kind of outlet to spread her message… a newspaper perhaps.
#08. Samantha Kluge 9.5 Billion
Samantha Kluge is the lesser known daughter of John Kluge, the television industry mogul who set up shop in America and at one point was the richest man in America. Samantha spent most her life partying it up and hopping from one club to the other, but after she had her kid she figured it was time to settle down a bit and focus on her family. At one point Samanatha was living in a historical house that had been owned by john Wayne, but ended up moving across the Country so that she could have the best school district possible for her son.
Kluge has been married and divorced three times, and is even being sued by an ex-boyfriend for apparently causing her distress: a crime that apparently is worth millions of dollars to him. Samantha had given up on finding a good partner, which isn’t the easiest thing in the world when you’re a billionaire, when her four year old son approached a male acquaintance of hers and asked him to date his mommy; the acquaintance agreed, and three and a half months later they were engaged. Man, that guy owes that kid some serious Christmas presents for being such a stellar wingman.
#07. Georgina Bloomberg 11.5 Billion
If you think you lived in a strict household, trust me when I say you have never had it as bad as Georgina Bloomberg, because her father was the mayor of New York City! Georgina wasn’t roped into some business she didn’t want to be involved with, and wasn’t shuffled off into fancy school to teach her advanced marketing techniques; instead she did what any young girl wanted to do when she was growing up: she rode horses, and it turns out she rode horses very very well.
Georgina was so good at riding horses in fact that she became a professional equestrian, and like any horse loving woman would be inclined to do, she dated a horse loving man: a show jumper by the name of Cian O’Connor; when her relationship didn’t fare so well she figured that the second time was the charm and married the professional equestrian Ramiro Quintana, so basically her life is all about horses, and not at all about the frustrations of paying bills. Georgina did suffer a broken vertebrae and concussion during one of her shows, but despite the setback she is getting right back on the saddle: is there any chance of your life being as smooth as hers? Neigh.
#06. Iris Fontbona 11.7
Inheriting money from someone wealthy? Not all that challenging. Making the money you inherited grow exponentially? That’s tougher than chewing nails and washing it down with a flat beer that was left to get warm in the sun. Iris Fontbona managed to avoid chewing nails entirely and to boot she still took good care of the money she inherited. Ms. Fontbona currently has a Net Worth of $13.5 billion which is steadily growing every year.
Iris is now the richest person in all of Chile, and has control over the Country’s largest resources: one of the largest copper mines in the entire world, the world’s largest brewer, Chile’s largest shipping company, and the second largest bank operating in Chile; Iris can’t seem to stop herself from going to the top, eh? Now that’s some girl power at its finest! What’s more, Iris will be passing along her fortune to her five children because she doesn’t really have anyone else significant to pass her money along to: what a lucky bunch of kids.
#05. Christy Walton 22.5 Billion
Christy Walton has an impressive $22.5 billion to her name due to the fact that she’s the widow of John Walton (the son of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart). Yep, Christy is part of the Walmart family and is now the second richest woman alive today. Christy has significant holdings in the Wal-Mart company, and probably gets free groceries delivered to her regularly— so she gets to save all of her precious money of course! Christy is actually fairly conservative with her money, although the largest share of her accumulated wealth goes to the various charities that she supports.
I don’t think Christy is actually aware of what’s happening to their customers, since it seems like every week something shocking is going on in their stores; personally I think it makes the shopping experience all the more exciting. There have certainly been some gems over the years that will forever be documented thanks to the “People Of Walmart” series: maybe she just has too much money to care?
#04. Marta Ortega-Perez 24 Billion
Marta is the daughter of Amancio Ortega, founder and head of Inditex, the company responsible for worldwide brands like “Zara.” Marta may have been born rich, but she certainly had to work for her status: her father believed that paving your own path was essential to having a well rounded lifestyle in business. Despite the fact that Marta’s father is worth upwards of $62 billion, she had to start all the way at the bottom of the career ladder and work her way up.
My dad is definitely not worth billions of dollars, heck, I don’t even know if he’s worth anything at all, but I too had to work my way up from the bottom: it seems like the two of us have something in common after all; cmon Marta, we can be friends, can’t we?! Marta is currently worth billions because of her hard work, and that’s because she was raised with both money and morals (*cough* take note, rich kids of Instagram *cough*).
#03. Delphine Arnault Gancia 26 Billion
Delphine is the daughter of Bernard Arnault, the director and vice president of the famous Louis Vuitton (LVMH), so not only is she rolling in the dough you know that she is dressed to kill as well. After Delphine got her business degree at the London School of Economics she began working as a strategic consultant, but not wanting to pass up the opportunity to apply her skills at the highest level possible, she began working in the family business in 2,000. Mrs. Arnault is an absolute maverick at her job, and after only three years in her position she was promoted to the management board, which makes her the youngest person and first woman to ever hold that position.
In order to build her career even farther, Delphine started working with other fashion companies, and it wasn’t long before her business talent got her seats on the board of directors: so just like her family’s products she has this industry in the bag. If you aren’t jealous of Delphine yet then it may push you over the edge to hear that she married a handsome heir to a dynasty of wine-makers, and after they divorced she married a successful businessman by the name of Xavier Niel: I think he lucked out on that one.
#02. Vanisha Mittal Bhatia 51 Billion
Vanisha Mittal is currently the wealthiest impending heiress in the world today because her father is Lakshmi N. Mittal, the chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the largest steel making company in the world. Vanishi will not only inherit the billions of dollars her father has accumulated, but also the 34% of company equity in ArcelorMittal that her father possesses: making her soon to be one of the richest people in the world. The Mittal family is the wealthiest family in all of India, and now Vanishi is now taking a leadership role in the family company, along with her husband, Amit Bhatia (an ex investment broker).
When Vanishi and Amit got married it was one of the most expensive wedding ceremonies in all of history: it was held at the Palace of Versailles, and featured a dinner at the Jardin des Tuileries by professional chefs flown in from India, a live music performance from a live pop star, and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. It must be pretty nice to get married where the hell you feel so inclined, but honestly I’d get married at a Mcdonalds if I could change my last name to Mittal.
#01. Liliane Bettencourt 200 Billion
Liliane is not only the richest person in the whole of France, but she is also the richest woman in the entire world! Liliane Bettencourt is the head of L’Oreal, the largest cosmetics company on the planet; originally she inherited the company from her father, but it was her hard work and creativity that really improved the company and pushed the brand to what it is today.
L’Oreal is a household favorite when it comes to their cosmetic products, despite the fact they seem to be bipolar with their pricing (seriously! make up your damn mind when it comes to price tags). Liliane is currently worth a massive $200 billion, and can probably afford to buy her own country by now: preferably one where the regulations on shampoo manufacturing aren’t so strict. I actually heard that Liliane sold her own island paradise for $42 million; does she need grandchildren? If so, where can I sign up and how do I get my own tropical pad for free?