Forbes has released its list of the 10 richest women in the world, and none of the women on the list are Black.
Certainly, much ado has been made about Black women who are billionaires — and who can forget the fanfare surrounding Rihanna’s premiere on the Forbes Billionaire List thanks to the success of her Savage x Fenty brand?
But that’s nothing compared to the trillions of dollars earned by the richest women in the world who did make the Forbes list. For example, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (who is No. 1 on the list) is worth more than $74 billion, while runner-up Alice Walton (of Walmart fame) is worth more than $65 billion.
Additionally, while many Black women millionaires (and billionaires) are self-made, many of the richest women in the world either come from generational wealth or had their wealth handed to them.
For example, Miriam Adelson (No. 7) inherited her $27.5 billion net worth when her casino magnate husband, Sheldon, passed away. Susanne Klatten (No. 8) inherited her $24.3 billion net worth from her parents (Johanna and Herbert Quant) who rescued BMW out of bankruptcy back in the 1950s. She also further expanded her wealth by investing in a pharmaceutical company called Altana, thereby ensuring the generational wealth continues.
So, why is there a disparity?
The Racial Wealth Gap
In July 2021, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” addressed the racial wealth gap on one of his shows.
In a nutshell, Black men and women have been left out of the exponential economic growth in the United States thanks to systemic racism. And this started with the real estate market, which is considered the number-one driver of middle-class wealth. Plus, Fortune Magazine reveals that it has given its owners a head-start of more than $2 trillion.
According to Oliver’s report, closing the racial wealth gap could take more than 200 years (CNBC estimates that it will take 228 years to do so), unless reparations are put into place.
Until such time, however, there will always be a disparity between the number of Black men and women who are billionaires, and the number of white men and women who are billionaires.
Who is the richest Black woman in the world?
As AfroTech previously reported, Oprah Winfrey is the richest Black woman in the world, with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.