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  • 03.20.17

Self-made female billionaires are on the rise

A crop of 15 self-made women debuted on Forbes’s annual billionaires list this year. While Forbes notes the majority of female billionaires—like Walmart heiress Alice Walton, the world’s second richest woman—inherited their wealth, a growing faction of women are now earning their way into the top spots. The magazine says the percentage of self-made women on the worldwide billionaires list has blossomed from 1% to 2.7% in the last 10 years (growth that both elates and disgusts me). Here’s a more optimistic statistic: One in four women on the billionaires list created their own wealth. Among the new billionaires are Yoshiko Shinohara, who introduced temporary workers to Japan’s economy in the 1970s, and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao (pictured), who owns VietJet, the only private airline in Vietnam.