Meet the Powerful Women Leading the Forbes 400

Genevieve Fish

Forbes just published its annual list of the world’s wealthiest people, and this year marks two major milestones: For the first time, 51 out of the Forbes 400 are women, and 17 of America’s wealthiest people are under 40. Surprisingly, Oprah does not lead the powerful group of women, whose combined wealth totals $290 billion. The female front-runner is Elizabeth Holmes, the innovative CEO of Theranos, a blood diagnostic company valued over $9 billion. The healthcare badass dropped out of Stanford University to found Theranos at the age of 20 and has since accumulated a self-made fortune of $4.5 billion. Holmes is also the only woman under 40 on the list, compared to 16 under-40 male billionaires.

Other self-made female billionaires on the rich list include ABC Supply’s Diane Hendricks, Gap’s Doris Fisher, Forever 21’s Jin Sook Chang, and of course Oprah Winfrey. While it’s remarkable that women account for almost $300 billion of net worth in America, the truth is females only compose 12.75% of the Forbes 400. The trend is moving forward in our favor, but we still have a long way to go in terms of gender equality.

Visit Forbes for the full list of America’s wealthiest people.

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What do you think about the discrepancy between male and female wealth in America? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Explore: Forbes 400

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