International Women’s Day: Women Show Their Economic Might Claiming Top Spots on Forbes Billionaires List

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By Keerthi Mohan | March 8, 2014 3:33 PM EST

Women across the world have yet another reason to celebrate this Women’s Day. Forbes recently released its annual list of world’s billionaires, and a record number of women have managed to enter the exclusive super rich club.

When International Women's Day celebrates the contribution of women to society, the inclusion of 172 women billionaires on a list totaling 1,645 shows that women are not far behind men. These women, who have made it to the Forbes list include businesswomen as well as hired hands, and a number of them are also featured on Forbes “Most Powerful Women” list.

They are influencers who have managed to bring about a change in society.

Sadly, women make only a little more than 10 percent of the total. But, it is still 25 percent more than last year’s numbers, and 42 of them are newcomers. A good number of them have built their fortunes from scratch, and although they are a minority, they have managed to yield results.

Here are the three women who grace the top positions on Forbes list of women billionaires.

Christy Walton:
Christy Walton heads the list of women billionaires with a $36.7 billion fortune. The widow of John T. Walton, one of the sons of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, has been crowned the world’s richest women four times in the last five years, Forbes reported.

A bulk of her fortune comes from the family business as well as from First Solar, a company her husband invested in.

Liliane Bettencourt:

Liliane Bettencourt. (Reuters)
Liliane Bettencourt. (Reuters)

Second on the women billionaires’ list is French businesswoman Liliane Bettencourt, whose fortune has increased thanks to the surging shares of cosmetic giant L’Oreal. The 91-year-old might not be actively involved in the running of the company, but that hasn’t dwindled her fortune, estimated to be $34.5 billion.

Alice Walton:

Alice Walton. (Reuters)
Alice Walton. (Reuters)

Another Walton family member who has found a place on the top of the list is Alice Walton, daughter of Sam Walton and Christy’s sister-in-law. She is expected to be worth $34.3 billion and is the owner of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Interestingly, all the women featured on the list are philanthropists and they don’t shy away when it comes to aiding worthy causes. Many of them are champions of education reforms and are active in charities devoted to children and women.

(Edited by Vanilla Sharma)

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Liliane Bettencourt. (Reuters)
(Photo: / )
Alice Walton. (Reuters)
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