Today, there are more successful women executives, entrepreneurs and entertainers than ever before, and as a result, Forbes‘ list of affluent individuals has increased exponentially. Talk about some serious girl power!
According to a new ranking by the publication, there are 172 female billionaires in 2014—a 25 percent jump from the previous year’s 138. Among the newcomers are Nigerian oil-tycoon Folorunsho Alakija, Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Jane Lauder and Sheryl Sandberg.
Despite the rise in economic success, only 32 of the female billionaires had a meaningful hand in building their own fortunes, in contrast to inheriting it from a family member or spouse. This year, Sandberg joined the lucky ladies including Spanx’s Sara Blakely, designer Tory Burch and media mogul Oprah Winfrey as women that earned billionaire status solely on their own merit.