Forbes and its list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women: Is there a list of the Richest ‘Self-Made’ Men?
We asked Google about the Richest ‘Self-Made’ Men and it replied back asking if we meant ‘women’ instead. It seems like the ‘self-made’ title is obvious when it comes to the male species. But why?
It would seem like a triumph, hearing about a list that celebrates America’s Richest Self-Made Women of 2019. Powerful women like Serena Williams, Taylor Swift and Diane Hendricks –co-founder and chairperson of ABC Supply– made the cut.
But, somehow, it feels more like a list recognizing women who have made it to the top with a big title in their foreheads: self-made. A title men have not received for doing the same things women have done to climb the mountain of success.
Nowadays, being a woman is an achievement: becoming entrepreneurs, flying solo, and amassing millions of dollars with our talents and skills have people turning heads. As if it means doing the unimaginable, the impossible — as a woman.
The idea of successful women has been around for ages; yet, it is in the dynamics of the modern age that women have gained enough strength to be acknowledged as such, in a way that is not condescending.
In fact, it was not until the last few decades that women started to own their power and influence over the world, as a collective. The reason is simple: there was still enough stigma over women in positions of power, and where that power came from.
Needless to say, leaving fear behind and standing up for ourselves have been key ingredients for women to raise the bet on business suits and take over unclaimed territory.
Yes, it is necessary to allow women to hold the same space as men in entrepreneurship; but no, it is not right when it is made to look as if it is not the rule, but the exception.
Women are here to stay, women are here to demystify the long overdue narratives of men as rulers, as the ultimate bosses, as the only capable.
And this is not women looking to send all men home to cook, although, after so many years of patriarchal mandate, it would not be that bad. This is about women finally getting tired of pity seconds.
So yes, let’s honor and applaud the 80 women who made the Forbes list this year. But let’s honor them because of how hard they worked, how much they sacrificed and how many days and nights they stayed up to build their dreams and cash in on them.
Let’s make a big deal because they claimed what was theirs with sweat, passion and dedication; not because they did it on their own while insinuating they did it without the help of a man or his capital.
These 80 women are worth all the entrepreneurial hype because they earned it. Now, allow us to introduce you to some of them:
Diane Hendricks, whom we mentioned earlier, took the top spot on the list with a net worth of $7 billion [up to $2.1 billion over the previous year].
Meg Whitman –CEO of video startup Quibi– increased her fortune to $3.8 billion and overtook spot number two this year, leaving the third place to Marian Ilitch –of the Little Caesars pizza chain– whose $3.7 billion made her go down a spot.
Completing the top five we have Epic Systems’ Judy Faulkner, with a net worth of $3.6 billion and Thai Lee –owner of IT supplier SHI– with $3 billion. That is one too many billion dollars brought together by strong women.
Among the others making the list, we can count Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna, Madonna, Donna Karan, and Ellen DeGeneres. All of them very powerful, outspoken businesswomen who have, unapologetically, paved the path of success for many more to come.
And hopefully, for the newcomers, the ‘self-made’ remark will have disappeared. Because yes, it will be accepted as obvious as it has been for men.