Boss Lady

5 Of the richest self-made women in business: How they did it


They say it’s a man’s world, but there are plenty of rich women in it, with 167 female billionaires in 2016. However, with more than 2,000 total billionaires in the world in 2017 it’s clear to see that women make up only a small fraction of that number.

And while there are many female billionaires that received their vast fortunes from their late husbands, let’s take a look at the richest self-made women and how they created their empires, often from scratch.

Oprah Winfrey

Perhaps one of the most famous self-made female billionaires is Oprah Winfrey, or more often known simply as Oprah. She created her media business step by step, culminating in a long-running television show and subsequently her own network, the Oprah Winfrey Network or OWN.

Judy Faulkner

Judy Faulkner is the kind of success story they write books about. She’s the brains behind the business and is still running the show at the company she created, Epic Systems. It’s a health information management company, and Faulkers personal estate and net worth is estimated to be $3.6 billion.

Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman took “climbing the corporate ladder” to a whole new level. Starting out as a brand manager for Procter & Gamble she now serves as the CEO of the $24 billion Hewlett-Packard corporation. Her own net worth is projected to be $3.1 billion, making her one of the top-ranked self-made female billionaires in the world.

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg’s ship rose along with the success of Facebook, and she’s never looked back. She now sits on the board of several companies, including Disney and SurveyMonkey and of course she still plays a big role at Facebook. She’s even credited as the person that turned Facebook profitable, an important step when you want your company to stay in business.

Sara Blakely

Sara Blakely created the Spanx company and has been helping women conceal unflattering areas for years now.This is the stuff Shark Tank dreams are made of, and there are likely several of investors that wish they would have gotten in on the ground floor when she was just starting out. Even with many knockoffs crowding the marketplace, Spanx continues to grow and offer new types of clothing options.

If you’re an aspiring businesswoman you can take solace in the fact that while the vast majority of billionaires are men, there are living examples of entrepreneuring women that have blazed their own path and shattered glass ceilings along the way. You can use them as examples to learn from and as proof that it’s all possible.

Perseverance, loving what you do, and believing in yourself when no one else does are three traits these women surely have, and they would not have been able to reach such heights without them. It’s possible to start from humble beginnings and reach the pinnacle of success, but you’ve got to put the work in and tip the scale in your favor in order to defy the odds.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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