It was yet another record year for women on the new FORBES list of the World’s Billionaires. Of a total 1,826 billionaires, 197 are women, up from 172 in 2014. That’s a nice gain, but women still account for just a small percentage of the list — 11% of the total.
This post is Part 1 of 3 featuring 17 – 12:
17. Sandra Ortega Mera
Net worth: $6.5 billion | Source Of Wealth: Zara
Residence: La Coruna, Spain | Citizenship: Spain
Marital Status: Married | Children: 3
Sandra Ortega Mera is the daughter of the fourth-richest person in the world, Amancio Ortega, founder of clothing giant Inditex. She inherited her fortune from her mother Rosalia Mera, who died suddenly in August 2013. Sandra got 89% of Rosp Corunna, the holding company Mera used to invest her wealth. The organization supports vocational training for people with mental and physical disabilities and it advocates moving them into mainstream jobs.
16. Eva Gonda de Rivera
Net worth: $7.6 billion | Source Of Wealth: Beverages
Residence: Monterrey, Mexico | Citizenship: Mexico
Marital Status: Widowed | Children: 5
Eva Gonda Rivera is the widow of Eugenio Garza Laguera, the former chair of FEMSA, Latin America’s biggest independent Coca-Cola bottler and distributor. It has operations in 9 Latin American countries. Eugenio, who died in 2008, left his large stake to his wife Eva and four daughters. The company is making greater inroads in the drugstore retail market after it acquired Farmacias Farmacon, a leading pharmacy chain in northern Mexico, in December 2014, for an undisclosed price.
15. Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler
Net worth: $6.6 billion | Source Of Wealth: Ball bearings
Residence: Herzogenaurach, Germany | Citizenship: Germany
Marital Status: Widowed
Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann and her only son, Georg Schaeffler are proprietors of Schaeffler Group, which encompasses Schaeffler AG, one of the world’s largest producers of ball bearings and machine components. In 2008, the company announced a $15-billion, debt-financed takeover of publicly traded tire and auto parts giant Continental AG. Marie-Elisabeth is a member of Continental’s supervisory board and vice chair of Schaeffler’s supervisory board.
14. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus
Net worth: $8.4 billion | Source Of Wealth: Commodities
Residence: Zurich, Switzerland | Citizenship: Switzerland
Marital Status: Widowed | Children: 3
Chairman of the French commodities behemoth Louis Dreyfus, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus took over the company when her husband Robert died after a long battle with leukemia in 2009. She’s made big changes in recent years, selling the company’s energy trading business in 2012, shaking up management and publicly declaring her intention to increase her stake.
13. Carrie Perrodo
Net worth: $8.5 billion | Source Of Wealth: Inherited
Residence: London, United Kingdom | Citizenship: France
Marital Status: Widowed | Children: 3
Singapore native Ka Yee (Carrie) Wong was already a top model when she met French entrepreneur Hubert Perrodo in the early 1970s. At the time Perrodo was traveling the world drilling for oil and gas. Soon they got married. Sharing the entrepreneurial bug, Carrie launched her own agency, Carrie’s Models, while Hubert started his first business. Carrie sold Carrie’s Models years ago, but the agency remains active to this day.
12. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken
Net worth: $11.6 billion | Source Of Wealth: Heineken
Residence: London, United Kingdom | Citizenship: Netherlands
Marital Status: Married | Children: 5
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is one of the richest women in the world, thanks to her 25% controlling stake in Dutch brewer Heineken, which she inherited from her late father, Freddy Heineken, a decade ago. The company sells more than 170 premium brands in more than 65 countries.
After a decade-long seclusion, the Heineken heiress broke her silence. In a magazine interview she recounted the pressure of assuming her father’s role and guiding the company after his 2002 death.