Top 10 Richest Women in the World 2024, Biography, Total Wealth, Income Sources

In global finance and industry, where great wealth marks the pinnacle of economic power, the stories of the top 10 richest women of 2024 are remarkable for their diversity, resilience and influence. These women, from different corners of the world, have amassed great wealth through a variety of means, whether through inheritance, self-made wealth or transformational leadership.

Not only do they manage their own financial assets, they have also made significant contributions to industries such as cosmetics, retail, technology and mining. Their influence is not limited to the business world; many are well-known philanthropists, cultural patrons and social cause leaders who use their resources to achieve meaningful change.

This story delves into the lives of these ten remarkable women, exploring how they shaped the economic and social landscape in their respective fields, and providing inspiration through their unique stories of success, stewardship, and commitment.

Top 10 Richest Women in the World

1. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and family

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

  • Net worth: $98.6 billion
  • Age: 70
  • Source of wealth: L’Oréal

L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers represents not only a tradition of beauty and elegance, but also strategic business leadership. As the granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder, she manages a global empire with a keen eye, owning approximately 33% of the company and serving as chairperson of the family holding company since 1997. Her rise to become the world’s richest woman is a testament to her dedication and business acumen. Under her leadership, L’Oréal has not only maintained its position as a market leader, but has also expanded its influence in the global beauty industry, making her a key figure in shaping the global cosmetics landscape.

2. Alice Walton

Alice Walton

  • Net worth: $71.8 billion
  • Age: 74
  • Source of wealth: Walmart

Alice Walton chose a path that was very different from her family’s retail giant, Walmart, and made her mark in the fields of art and philanthropy. She founded the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, redefining the cultural landscape of her hometown and the surrounding area. The museum, which houses works by artists such as Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell, reflects her commitment to accessibility and public engagement with the arts. In addition, her initiative to establish the Alice Walton School of Medicine demonstrated her dedication to health and wellness, expanding her impact from cultural enrichment to community health and showcasing her multifaceted approach to philanthropy.

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3. Julia Koch and her family

Julia Koch

  • Net worth: $61.2 billion
  • Age: 61
  • Source of wealth: Koch Industries

Julia Koch’s entry into the world’s richest list comes after her husband, David Koch of Koch Industries, died, leaving her and her three children with a significant stake in one of the largest private companies in the United States. She rose from a fashion assistant to a prominent New York philanthropist and social figure, demonstrating her adaptable and high-impact approach to wealth management. With a strong presence in both the cultural and philanthropic sectors, Julia has used her resources to support causes ranging from the arts to healthcare, underscoring her role as a steward of her vast family fortune, with a focus on legacy and social good.

4. Jacqueline Mars

Jacqueline Mars

  • Net worth: $39.2 billion
  • Age: 84
  • Source of wealth: Mars, Incorporated

Jacqueline Mars is a quiet force behind the global success of Mars, Incorporated, having managed and expanded her family’s confectionery, pet care and food businesses for decades. Her tenure at Mars, including involvement in cultural commissions such as the National Archives and the Washington National Opera, highlights her blend of business acumen and public service. Her stewardship has not only propelled Mars, Incorporated to new heights, but has also supported numerous cultural and educational initiatives, making her a model for combining corporate leadership with civic duty and philanthropy.

5. Mackenzie Scott

Mackenzie Scott

  • Net worth: $37.7 billion
  • Age: 54
  • Source of wealth: Amazon

MacKenzie Scott is one of the most transformative philanthropists of her time, quickly redefining the landscape of giving after accruing a fortune following her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Scott chose to give away the majority of her fortune, providing unrestricted grants to hundreds of nonprofits, letting them decide how best to use the money. This approach not only empowers organizations, it challenges the traditional model of philanthropy. Her efforts extend beyond financial donations, as she draws attention to pressing social issues through her proactive and often unexpected style of philanthropy.

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6. Savitri Jindal and his family

Savitri Jindal

  • Net worth: $35.5 billion
  • Age: 74
  • Source of wealth: JSW Group

As chairperson of the Jindal Group, Savitri Jindal oversees a sprawling conglomerate with interests in key industries such as steel, power and cement. Following the death of her husband, Savitri took on a challenging yet crucial role to not only sustain but grow the business in India’s complex corporate and political environment. Her leadership has cemented her position as India’s wealthiest woman and a key figure in the global industrial sector, demonstrating the far-reaching impact of resilient management in traditionally male-dominated industries.

7. Rafaela Aponte-Diamante

Rafaela Aponte Diaman

  • Net worth: $33.3 billion
  • Age: 79
  • Source of wealth: Mediterranean Shipping Company

Rafaela Aponte-Diamante’s journey from securing a small loan to co-founding the world’s largest shipping company, Mediterranean Shipping Company, is a remarkable story of entrepreneurship and collaboration. Together with her husband, she navigated the complexities of the shipping industry, building a single ship into a leading global shipping empire. Her role in the company extends beyond corporate leadership to include the creative aspects of ship design, particularly cruise ship design, demonstrating her multifaceted influence in an industry critical to global trade.

8. Miriam Adelson and family

Miriam Adelson

  • Net worth: $32.1 billion
  • Age: 78
  • Source of wealth: Las Vegas Sands

Dr. Miriam Adelson transformed herself from a physician to an influential corporate figure after the death of her husband, Sheldon Adelson, who controls a large stake in Las Vegas Sands. Her leadership continues the legacy of one of the world’s largest casino and resort companies. Her contributions extend beyond business; her extensive philanthropic efforts in medical research and political advocacy highlight her deep commitment to influencing public policy and health science. Miriam’s multifaceted role illustrates how wealth and influence can drive significant change at different levels of society.

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9. Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart

  • Net worth: $30.7 billion
  • Age: 70
  • Source of wealth: Hancock Prospecting

Gina Rinehart took over Hancock Prospecting from her father and built the struggling business into a mining giant. Her relentless drive for business success, combined with a keen eye for industry dynamics and economic opportunities, made her Australia’s richest person. Rinehart’s bold and confident leadership style has had a significant impact on Australia’s economic landscape, demonstrating the critical role of strong personal leadership in resource-driven industries.

10. Abigail Johnson

Abigail Johnson

  • Net worth: $29.6 billion
  • Age: 62
  • Source of wealth: Fidelity Investments

As CEO of Fidelity Investments, Abigail Johnson represents a successful blend of generational knowledge and innovative leadership. After succeeding her father, she has not only upheld Fidelity’s reputation as a leading financial services provider, but has also spearheaded Fidelity’s expansion into new areas such as cryptocurrency. Her leadership approach to finance reflects a forward-thinking approach and commitment to adapting to technological advances, ensuring the company’s enduring relevance and growth in a rapidly changing industry.

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