Forbes World Billionaires Issue: The richest women 2014
A record breaking year for Forbes' females
When it comes to the Forbes list of World Billionaires 2014, it's a record-breaking year for women. Out of 1,645 entries, a record 172 are women - up from 138 last year.
Christy Walton returns to the spot as the richest woman with a $36.7 billion fortune. As the widow of John Walton, from the founding family of Wal-Mart in the U.S. she has had that title for four out of the last five years.
Back in second place after a year at the top is 91-year-old Liliane Bettencourt, worth $34.5 billion. The L'Oreal heiress remains France's richest person, let alone woman. Her fortune increased this year thanks to the company's stock surging.
The third richest woman is another Walton family member, Alice Walton, worth $34.3 billion. As the daughter of visionary retailer Sam Walton is Christy's sister-in-law. She opened her Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2011, to feature works from her personal collection.
Notably, of the 268 newcomers to the list, 42 are women, and five of those built their own fortunes as opposed to inheriting them. These five remarkable women include Sheryl Sandberg at $1.05billion, who leaned into a COO position at Facebook and 12 million or so shares in the company. With the social networking firm's share price up more than 130% in the past 12 months, she is now one of the world's youngest self-made women billionaires.
In terms of fashion inclusions, Miuccia Prada's $11.1billion fortune sets her apart, as the lead designer of her grandfather's luxury goods and clothing company, joining her husband and business partner Patrizio Bertelli as co-CEO.
Interestingly, in a case involving a very loyal daughter, this year's youngest billionaire is also a woman. Perenna Kei is only 24 years old, and the controlling owner of Chinese real estate giant Logan Properties. Kei is the daughter of Logan's chairman and CEO, Ji Haipeng. Company documents indicate that she is the majority shareholder, the settler of the trust and acts "in accordance with Mr. Ji's directions." The company went public in December 2013 and its stock rose 2.4% on the first day of trading, making Kei a billionaire.
Click here to read more about the Forbes 28th Annual World's Billionaires issue.