These are the top 10 richest women in the world

30 June 2020, 11:02 | Updated: 30 June 2020, 17:31

(L to R) Susanne Klatten, Julia Koch and Zhong Huijuan are among the top 10 richest women in the world
(L to R) Susanne Klatten, Julia Koch and Zhong Huijuan are among the top 10 richest women in the world. Picture: Getty

There are 234 female billionaires in the world, and counting.

From L'Oreal cosmetics heiresses, to BMW executives and pharmaceutical moguls, inherited wealth and self-made billions rule the roost.

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So just who are the globe's female billionaires and how did they make their fortunes? These are the current top 10 richest women in the world, as of 2020:

  1. Australia: Gina Rinehart (net worth $13.1 billion)

    Gina Rinehart is the richest person in Australia
    Gina Rinehart is the richest person in Australia. Picture: Getty

    Gina Rinehart, 66, made her fortune in Australian mining.

    The daughter of iron-ore explorer Lang Hancock, Gina has been the chairperson of mineral extracting company Hancock Prospecting Group since 1992, when she inherited a 76.6% share of the business upon her father's death.

    In the 2010's, Gina expanded the company into Television, newspaper and agriculture, and as of 2020 is the richest person in Australia.

  2. China: Zhong Huijuan (net worth $14.6 billion)

    Zhong Huijuan is the richest self-made woman in Asia
    Zhong Huijuan is the richest self-made woman in Asia. Picture: Getty

    Zhong Huijuan, 59, founded drug making group Hansoh Pharmaceutical in 1995.

    The company, which specialises in the production of cancer, anti-diabetic, psychoactive and other drugs rose 10% in stocks from January to March 2020 when COVID-19 was most active in China.

    The former chemistry teacher is the richest self-made woman in the whole of Asia.

  3. USA: Laurene Powell Jobs (net worth $16.4 billion)

    Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of Apple co-foundwer Steve Jobs
    Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of Apple co-foundwer Steve Jobs. Picture: Getty

    Laurene, 56, is the widow of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs.

    In 1997, she co-founded and became president of College Track, a foundation that helps prepare disadvantaged kids for college and since 2016 has chaired Emerson Collective, a philanthropic and investment company that advocates for social reform in the United States.

    When Steve Jobs died in 2011, Laurene inherited a 7.3% stake in Disney (worth an estimated $11.1 billion) and 38.5 million shares in Apple.

  4. Germany: Susanne Klatten (net worth $16.8 billion)

    Susanne Klatten is the wealthiest woman in Germany
    Susanne Klatten is the wealthiest woman in Germany. Picture: Getty

    Susanne Klatten, 58, is the heir to German carmaker, BMW.

    Due to coronavirus and the rapid downturn in the demand for new cars, her net worth has been cut by 20% in 2020.

    Susanne is also the sole owner of pharmaceutical company, Altana, and is currently the richest woman in Germany.

  5. China: Yang Huiyan (net worth: $20.3 billion)

    38-year-old Yang made her fortune as a property developer.

    She inherited a majority shareholdership of her father's real estate company Country Garden in 2007 and is the richest woman in Asia.

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Yang's company set up automated food dispensing machines for Chinese medical workers in Wuhan.

  6. USA: Jacqueline Mars (net worth $24.7 billion)

    Jacqueline Mars is part of the famous Mars candy family
    Jacqueline Mars is part of the famous Mars candy family. Picture: Getty

    Jacqueline Mars, 80, inherited a third of the $35 billion Mars brand.

    She is the granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, who founded the company and worked for the business for 20 years, serving on the board until 2016.

  7. USA: Mackenzie Bezos (net worth $36 billion)

    Mackenzie Bezos is the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
    Mackenzie Bezos is the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Picture: Getty

    Mackenzie Bezos, 50, is the ex-wide of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.

    An award-winning novelist, Mackenzie shot onto the rich list due to her divorce settlement of at least $35 million when she received a quarter of her ex-husband's shares in Amazon.

    She has been the director of the anti-bullying company she founded, Bystander Revolution, since 2014 and in May 2019, Mackenzie signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least half of her personal fortune.

  8. USA: Julia Koch (net worth $38.2 billion)

    Julia Koch is the world's third richest woman
    Julia Koch is the world's third richest woman. Picture: Getty

    Julia Koch, 57, is the widow of billionaire David Koch, who died in 2019.

    Her first year on the rich list, Julia inherited a 42% share of Koch Industries upon her husband's death. The company is a huge North American multinational, with subsidiaries in in oil manufacturing, minerals, fertilizers and ranching.

  9. France: Françoise Bettencourt Meyers (net worth $48.9 billion)

    The L'Oreal heiress is the second richest woman in the world.
    The L'Oreal heiress is the second richest woman in the world. Picture: Getty

    Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, 66, is the heiress of the L'Oreal cosmetics empire.

    Her mother, the daughter of L'Oreal's founder Eugène Schueller, died in 2017, leaving the full fortune of the company to Françoise. Her fortune has been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with shares dropping by 12% in the first fortnight of March 2020.

    In that same month, L'Oreal announced it would begin factory production of hand sanitizer for France and the rest of Europe.

  10. USA: Alice Walton (net worth $53.2 billion)

    Alice Walton is the richest woman in the world
    Alice Walton is the richest woman in the world. Picture: Getty

    Alice Walton, 70, is the only daughter of Walmart founder, Sam Walton.

    Despite the coronavirus crisis, Alice's fortune has increased 23% since 2019 to $53.2 billion, making her the ninth-richest person in the world and the wealthiest woman on the planet.

    Whilst not holding a position at Walmart, Alice leads a programme at the Walton Foundation which distributes $300 million to schools in the U.S. to invest in facilities.

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    She is also a prominent art collector and in 2011 opened an art museum in Arkansas to house her $500 million art collection, featuring works by Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Mark Rothko.