Our award-winning reporting has moved

Context provides news and analysis on three of the world’s most critical issues:

climate change, the impact of technology on society, and inclusive economies.

Kim Kardashian is now a self-made female billionaire. Here are 5 more on the short list

by Lin Taylor | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 8 April 2021 11:45 GMT

FILE PHOTO: Television personality Kim Kardashian attends a panel for the documentary "Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project" during the Winter TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour in Pasadena, California, U.S., January 18, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

Image Caption and Rights Information

Kim Kardashian joins Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd in becoming a self-made female billionaire. Here are five women who blazed the trail

LONDON, April 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Reality television star, entrepreneur and now self-made billionaire - Kim Kardashian has for the first time been included on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires.

Forbes said it estimated that Kardashian, 40, "is now worth $1 billion, up from $780 million in October, thanks to two lucrative businesses - KKW and Skims - as well as cash from reality television and endorsement deals, and a number of smaller investments."

In February, Whitney Wolfe Herd became the youngest female self-made billionaire after shares of her company, the dating app Bumble, made their stock market debut.

The 31-year-old founder of the dating app where women make the first move is also one of the youngest women leading a public company.

They join media mogul Oprah Winfrey (worth $2.6 billion) on the still-small list of women entrepreneurs who have become dollar billionaires, many of them Chinese.

Self-made women account for less than 5% of the world's 500 richest people, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The United States has the most billionaires, with 724, followed by China with 698, said the 2021 Forbes billionaires list.

Here are five other self-made women who have blazed the trail, according to Forbes.

1. Zhong Huijuan, chief executive of Hansoh Pharmaceutical

Zhong is worth $19.7 billion as of Apr 8. and is the world's richest self-made female billionaire. Hansoh Pharmaceutical produces products for central nervous system disease, oncology, anti-infection, diabetes, digestive tract and cardiovascular treatment. Her husband is also a pharmaceuticals billionaire.

2. Wu Yajun, co-founder of Longfor Properties

Wu has a net worth of $19.1 billion and is the second wealthiest self-made female billionaire. She was a journalist before venturing into the real estate business and started Longfor Properties.

3. Diane Hendricks, co-founder of ABC Supply

As the chair of roofing supplier ABC Supply, Hendricks is worth $8 billion and is currently the richest American self-made female billionaire.

4. Meg Whitman, former eBay chief executive

Whitman, worth $6.2 billion, is most recognised for growing eBay into an $8 billion revenue company. One of the most prominent executives in Silicon Valley, Whitman was previously the head of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She was most recently the chief executive of video streaming app Quibi, which is no longer in operation.

5. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook

Sandberg, worth $1.8 billion, is one of the most powerful women in technology and is also known for her feminist "Lean In" initiative which urges women to aim for top jobs and highlights sexist barriers in the workplace.

This story was updated on April 8, 2021 to include Kim Kardashian and the latest figures from Forbes magazine's 2021 billionaries index.

Related stories:

Britain's finance sector too slow to hire women to top jobs

Hire women of colour, pay them well, promote them, UK companies are told

Harris' VP win makes history, but attitudes to women's leadership shows room to grow

(Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Claire Cozens . Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly.  Visit http://news.trust.org to see more stories.)