Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodman

After several decades of major strides in the American workforce, the number of women in corporate leadership positions or running their own companies has exploded. There are more self-made women millionaires and billionaires today than ever, despite a gender wage gap that in 2023 means women earn $0.77 for every $1 a man makes.

In 2020, there were about 1.24 million businesses owned by women, according to the Census Bureau’s 2021 Annual Business Survey. Women-owned businesses had about $432.1 billion in annual payroll, $1.9 trillion in receipts, and 10.9 million employees.  Stacker collected data from Hurun Research Institute’s 2023 report on the world’s richest self-made women billionaires. The sum of the wealth of all women on the list is $77.9 billion—about one-third of Elon Musk’s net wealth as of June 13, 2023.  That’s astounding.

The wealth and ages of these powerful, self-made women are as of January 16, 2023. If an individual’s shares are held jointly—say, with their spouse—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.

Based on these findings, these are the 23 Richest Self-Made Women In America In 2023

  • #22. Michelle Zatlyn (tie)

    Michelle Zatlyn of CloudFlare judges Startup Battlefield onstage during day two of TechCrunch Disrupt

    Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

    – Global rank: #99
    – Wealth: $1.1 billion
    – Age: 45
    – Primary company: Cloudflare
    – Primary industry: Cybersecurity

    Before 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 earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and was awarded the Dubliner Prize for Entrepreneurship.

  • #22. Neerja Sethi (tie)

    – Global rank: #99
    – Wealth: $1.1 billion
    – Age: 69
    – Primary company: Syntel
    – Primary industry: Enterprise software

    Neerja Sethi co-founded the information technology 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.

  • #20. Rihanna (tie)


    obyn Rihanna Fenty and Linda Fargo celebrate the launch of FENTY at Bergdorf Goodman

    Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodman

    – Global rank: #76
    – Wealth: $1.4 billion
    – Age: 35
    – Primary company: Music
    – Primary industry: Music

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

  • #20. Elaine Wynn (tie)

    Elaine Wynn and Vin Diesel attend the Ninth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

    Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

    – Global rank: #76
    – Wealth: $1.4 billion
    – Age: 81
    – Primary company: Wynn Resort
    – Primary industry: Casino

    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 the price of her 2013 purchase of a Francis Bacon triptych—at $142.4 million, then the most expensive art piece sold at auction—spurred speculation that offended her: Claims a man must have purchased the paintings.

  • #19. Yang Lin

    – Global rank: #60
    – Wealth: $1.9 billion
    – Age: 51
    – Primary company: VeSync
    – Primary industry: Household appliances

    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.

  • #16. Kim Kardashian (tie)

    Kim Kardashian attends KKW Beauty launch at ULTA Beauty

    Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for ULTA Beauty / KKW Beauty

    – Global rank: #53
    – Wealth: $2 billion
    – Age: 43
    – Primary company: KKW Beauty
    – Primary 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 by 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.

  • #16. Jami Gertz (tie)

    Jami Gertz attends the Hawks Means Business Chat in partnership with 'What Men Want' at State Farm Arena

    Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

    – Global rank: #53
    – Wealth: $2 billion
    – Age: 57
    – Primary company: Movies
    – Primary industry: Acting

    The actor was discovered at age 16 in a talent search for the sitcom “Square Pegs” with Sarah Jessica Parker, which aired in the early 1980s. Since then, she has appeared in numerous television shows, among them the NBC hit “This Is Us,” “The Neighbors,” and “Modern Family” on ABC. She also starred on the cable series “Entourage” and the comedy “Still Standing” for four seasons. Onscreen, she co-starred in “The Lost Boys” and appeared in “Less Than Zero.” She and her husband, billionaire investor Anthony Ressler, own the Atlanta Hawks NBA team and are noted philanthropists through their Ressler Gertz Family Foundation.

  • #16. Safra Catz (tie)

    Oracle Corp. CEO Safra Catz walks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

    Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #53
    – Wealth: $2 billion
    – Age: 62
    – Primary company: Oracle
    – Primary industry: Enterprise software

    Safra Catz has been the CEO of Oracle since 2014 and has 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.

  • #15. Doris Fisher

    Gap Storefront

    – Global rank: #51
    – Wealth: $2.1 billion
    – Age: 92
    – Primary company: GAP
    – Primary 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, following many owners’ pattern of founding companies in response to a need in their own life. Fisher is also a co-founder and major supporter of the Knowledge is Power Program Foundation, which supports public charter schools.

  • #14. Luo Qianqian

    – Global rank: #49
    – Wealth: $2.2 billion
    – Age: 49
    – Primary company: Shanda
    – Primary industry: Investment holding company

    The co-founder of Shanda Interactive Entertainment Limited, originally an online gaming company, is also known as Chrissy Luo. The company has evolved into a large investment group, of which she is also vice chair and president. She and her husband created the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute in 2016 to help advance brain science.

  • #12. Meg Whitman (tie)

    Ambassador Meg Whitman attends The 2023 U.S.-Kenya Business Roadshow Launch at The Harvard Club

    Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #47
    – Wealth: $2.3 billion
    – Age: 67
    – Primary company: eBay
    – Primary 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.

  • #12. Alice N. Schwartz (tie)

    – Global rank: #47
    – Wealth: $2.3 billion
    – Age: 97
    – Primary company: Bio-Rad Laboratories
    – Primary industry: Pharmaceuticals

    Alice Schwartz met her husband, David, while studying for her biochemistry degree at the University of California, Berkeley. They started Bio-Rad Laboratories in a Berkeley Quonset hut in 1952 with $720 and eventually expanded into biological discovery and health care research. She worked as a researcher and member of the board of directors. She stepped down from her board duties in 2022 at age 96. Her son, Norman Schwartz, is now president and CEO of the company.

  • #11. Sheryl Sandberg

    Sheryl Sandberg attends the 2022 Women's Media Awards at Mandarin Oriental Hotel

    Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #38
    – Wealth: $2.5 billion
    – Age: 54
    – Primary company: Facebook
    – Primary 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. Still, Sandberg’s fortune didn’t come from book sales but from her early involvement and decades of experience as COO of the social networking giant Facebook. She stepped down from the position in June 2022.

  • #10. Jayshree Ullal

    – Global rank: #34
    – Wealth: $2.7 billion
    – Age: 62
    – Primary company: Arista Networks
    – Primary 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.

  • #9. Oprah Winfrey

    Oprah Winfrey speaks during Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour

    Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #31
    – Wealth: $2.9 billion
    – Age: 70
    – Primary company: Oprah Winfrey Network
    – Primary 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 TV network, Oprah Winfrey Network, which is the source of most of her wealth today.

  • #8. Zhang Xin

    SOHO China co-founder and CEO Zhang "Shynn" Xin (L) and MSNBC "Your Business" host JJ Ramberg speak onstage during Vanity Fair's Founders Fair at Spring Studios

    Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

    – Global rank: #28
    – Wealth: $3 billion
    – Age: 58
    – Primary company: SOHO China
    – Primary industry: Estate holding

    Zhang Xi leads the real estate company SOHO China with her husband. Before 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.

  • #7. Peggy Cherng

    Peggy Cherng and Andrew Cherng attend the 19th annual Unforgettable Gala at The Beverly Hilton

    Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #24
    – Wealth: $3.1 billion
    – Age: 75
    – Primary company: Panda Express
    – Primary 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.

  • #6. Lynda Resnick

    – Global rank: #22
    – Wealth: $3.3 billion
    – Age: 87
    – Primary company: Roll International
    – Primary industry: Food processing

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

  • #5. Johnelle Hunt

    – Global rank: #19
    – Wealth: $4.6 billion
    – Age: 84
    – Primary company: JB Hunt Transport Services
    – Primary 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 into a multibillion-dollar empire, of which Hunt is the largest individual shareholder.

  • #4. Gail Miller

    Gail Miller owner and Chairman of the Board of the Utah Jazz walks to her seat before the start of their game

    Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #17
    – Wealth: $5.2 billion
    – Age: 80
    – Primary company: Larry H. Miller
    – Primary industry: Automobiles

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

  • #3. Judy Faulkner

    – Global rank: #14
    – Wealth: $5.8 billion
    – Age: 80
    – Primary company: Epic Systems
    – Primary industry: Health care

    Judy Faulkner founded health care software 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.

  • #2. Judy Love

    Gas prices are displayed at a Loves gas station

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

    – Global rank: #11
    – Wealth: $6 billion
    – Age: 86
    – Primary company: Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
    – Primary industry: Multibrand 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 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.

  • #1. Diane Hendricks

    – Global rank: #1
    – Wealth: $17 billion
    – Age: 76
    – Primary company: ABC Supply
    – Primary 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 she believes she can revitalize. One of them is Beloit, a Wisconsin town that has fallen on hard times in recent years, which Hendricks hopes can be transformed into a magnet for startups and founders.

    Data reporting by Paxtyn Merten. Story editing by Jeff Inglis. Copy editing by Paris Close. Photo selection by Clarese Moller.

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