Some of today’s biggest brands, companies, products and innovations are being produced by women!
More importantly, women are now building their own empires without the help of an inheritance, business partners or even husbands.
Celebrity Net Worth has compiled a list of American women who are 100% self-made.
These may not be the richest women in America but everything they got they got on their own.
For better or for worse, 2/3rds of American female billionaires inherited their fortunes from fathers or late husbands. Yet still, there are plenty of self-made women worth 10s to 100s of millions, from Martha Stewart (net worth $300 million) to Xerox CEO Ursula Burns (reported salary of nearly $10 million annually).
Our hats go off to these amazing women and they all deserve recognition.
However for today we will only showcase the top self-made female American billionaires. Here goes:
Sara Blakely – Net Worth: $1 billion
Source of Wealth: Inventor of Spanx
Though her original plan was to become an attorney, after graduating Florida State with a communications degree, 25 year old Sara Blakely was selling door to door fax machines when she came up with the idea that would become Spanx.
Her discomfort having to wear pantyhose in Florida heat and humidity inspired her to come up with an undergarment with the smoothing and controlling properties of pantyhose without the full leg and foot coverage (so tacky in open toed shoes!).
With her $5000 life savings Sara launched “Spanx”.
For the next ten years, Spanx grew in popularity, often imitated but never matched. Spanx was even named by Oprah Winfrey as one of her favorite things.
Today Spanx is a multi-billion dollar business and Sara Blakely is the youngest self-made female billionaire of all time!
Sheryl Sandberg – Net Worth: $1.7 billion
Source of Wealth: Facebook COO, former VP at Google
The COO of Facebook and the only woman to ever sit on Facebook’s board, Sheryl Sandberg was formerly Google’s VP of Global Online Sales and Operations. Sanberg’s wealth comes not only from her Facebook, but from the shares she holds in Facebook and Google.
Sandberg was named in the Time 100 list as one of the most influential people in the world in 2012!
Also a best selling author, Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead sold more then 1 million copies in 2013.
Written to help professional women achieve their career goals, Lean In proposes that having more women in power positions creates equal opportunities for everybody.
Judy Faulkner – Net Worth: $1.7 billion
Source of Wealth: Founder of electronic health records company Epic Systems
Having moved to Madison Wisconsin, in the 60s, to attend grad school in computer science, Faulkner founded Epic Systems in 1979.
Today the company is estimated to be used by over 40% of the healthcare and medical industry.
Producing software that allows for the easy share of patient medical records, Epic employs more than 4,000 people at a $500 million, 600,000 square foot campus described as “part Disneyland, part Google, and part environmentalists dream”.
Epic’s integrated software suite supports patient care, clinical, lab and billing systems for insurance companies and healthcare providers.
Meg Whitman – Net Worth: $1.9 billion
Source of Wealth: President and CEO of eBay from 1998-2008
Though currently the President and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Meg Whiteman’s fortune and claim to fame came from being the President and CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008.
During her 10 years at eBay, Meg Whitman lead the company’s growth from 30 employees to over 15,000 employees and from $4 million in annual revenue to over $8 billion.
Whitman expanded eBay to Europe, Asia, and South America and helped orchestrate the acquisition of PayPal, Skype, and StubHub.
Before Bay, Whitman was an executive at the Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks, Proctor & Gamble, and Hasbro after earning her BA from Princeton and a MBA from Harvard.
In 2010, Meg Whitman financed her own campaign for California Governor with $144 million of her own money.
Oprah Winfrey – Net Worth: $2.9 billion
Source of Wealth: Media Mogul
Born in poverty, to an unwed teenage mother in rural Mississippi. Oprah Winfrey experienced a tough childhood growing up in Milwaukee.
Landing her first radio job, while still in high school, by the time she was 19, Oprah was co-anchoring the evening news in Tennessee.
Her gift for making a connection with her audience got her her very own talk show on local Chicago television, The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Today Oprah is the most influential woman in the world. A mere mention of a product or author from Oprah can turn a product or book into an overnight best seller!
One of the worlds greatest philanthropists and social leaders, Oprah Winfrey proves beyond a doubt that its not where you start…but where you finish.
Source – Celebrity Net Worth