Women have just as strong a business sense as their male counter parts, but they don’t seem to have monetary aspirations on top of their priority list. That explains why only 14 self-made women find themselves in the list of 1,011 people having personal fortunes above the $1 billion mark. While some of them had humble beginnings, others have had a bit of help from their husbands, sons of both. Listed after the jump are these wonder women whose grit and determination will help inspire many more budding women talents:
1. Wu Yajun: Topping the list is Wu Yajun from China, who comes with a net worth of $3.9 billion which include properties spanning in 10 cities. She is currently working in the capacity of Chief Executive for Longfor Properties. She has also worked as an engineer at the Qianwei Meter Factory for four years. She is ranked 232 in the 2010 list of billionaires as per Forbes.
2. Rosalia Mera: Second on the list is Rosalia Mera from Spain, with a $3.5 billion net worth. She started off helping her better half Amancio Ortega to make dressing gowns and lingerie in their home. Even after things went bitter between the two, Mera still has a 7% stake; in Inditex, the company that owns Zara stores. She earned around $600 million in cash at an IPO for the company she pumped into several. She heads the Paideia Foundation that helps people with disabilities.
3. Elena Baturina: Third on the list is Elena Baturina from Moscow, with a $2.9 billion net worth. Being the wife of the Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, she started her plastic-product company called Inteko in 1991, followed it up with an affordable housing called Patriot.
4. Doris Fisher: On the fourth spot is Gap co-founder Doris Fisher from USA with a net worth of $2.4 billion. She handed over the company reins to her sons John, Robert, and William in 2004.
5. Oprah Winfrey: On Number 8 on the list is US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey whose net worth is $2.4 billion. Apart from the talk show which has been on air since 1986 and has seen celebrities, politicians and victims of abuse, Oprah also owns Harpo studios, O magazine, esteemed book club and “favorite things” lists. She will soon be seen on the new Oprah Winfrey Network cable channel.
6. Giuliana Benetton: Taking the 9th position on the list is co-founder of the Benton Group, Giuliana Benetton, with a $2.1 billion net worth. Her family holding also extends to Atlantia and Autogrill restaurants through their company Edizione.
7. Meg Whitman: And finally taking the 12th spot is a runner for the position of California Governor Meg Whitman, who has a net worth of $1.3 billion. Her resume boast of prestigious positions at companies like P&G, Disney and Hasbro, and she was on the companies like eBay, Procter & Gamble and DreamWorks last year to concentrate on gubernatorial race.
8. J.K. Rowling: Rounding up the list is the US author Joanne K Rowling with a net worth of $1 billion. Apart from her Harry Potter series that went on to be translated into 65 languages, and the movie become a sensation of sorts, the highest price she earned is the theme park “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” that is due to open this year at Universal Studios, Orlando.