Approximately 1810 billionaires roam the Earth with a combined net worth of $6.48 trillion, per Forbes’ annual billionaire roundup. You could probably name a handful of those billionaires off the top of your head without looking at the list. Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffett are all easy guesses. What’s less easy to do, however, is to name female billionaires from that list. That’s partly because of those 1810 billionaires, only about 190 are women.
Interestingly, of those 190 women, 33 are entrepreneurs who built their cash stash via their own business ventures. With some help from Market Inspector, we’re recognizing the 10 richest.
Zhou Qunfei, Lens Technology, $7.1 billion
Meet China's richest woman. She was born in 1970 and literally worked her way up from the very bottom. She went from sweeping factory floors to founding Lens Technology, one of the leading manufacturers of smart phone touch screens.
Chan Laiwa, Fuwah International Group, $5.5 billion
Also from China, Chan Laiwa is the founder of one of Beijing’s most successful commercial property development companies. She was born into royalty in 1941, but still built her business from scratch.
Pollyanna Chu, Kingston Financial, $4.7 billion
Pollyanna Chu oversees Kingston Financial, one of the most successful home-grown brokerages in Hong Kong. She’s also an executive at Golden Resorts Group and Sincere Watch, and was born in 1958.
Diane Hendricks, ABC Supply, $4.3 billion
Hendricks, born in 1947, is from Wisconsin and serves multiple roles: businesswoman, philanthropist and film producer. Her primary business venture is ABC Supply, a roofing supply company.
Wu Yajun, Longfor Properties, $3.7 billion
Wu Yajun is another Chinese businesswoman on this list, and is the co-founder and former CEO of Longfor Properties, a real estate development company. She was born in 1964.
Denise Coates, Bet365, $3.4 billion
Denise Coates is the richest woman in Britain and considered England’s leading businesswoman. She was born in 1967 and is the founder of Bet365, an online gambling company.
Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Winfrey Network, $2.9 billion
Perhaps the most familiar name on this list, Oprah Winfrey, born in 1954, is best known for her work on her eponymous talk show. She’s since retired as a host and is now the owner of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Lam Wai Ying, Biel Crystal Manufactory, $2.9 billion
Biel Crystal Manufactory is a touchscreen manufacturer that provides screens for Apple devices. The company was founded by Lam and her husband, Yeung Kin-man.
Giuliana Benetton, Benetton Group, $2.6 billion
Born in Italy in 1937, Giuliana Benetton is co-founder of Italian fashion brand Benetton Group, which has reached global acclaim with over 5000 stores worldwide.
Doris Fisher, Gap, $2.6 billion
You may be more familiar with The Gap itself than you are with the woman who founded it. Doris Fisher, born in 1931, established the brand in 1969 with her husband, Donald.
While money certainly isn’t the only indicator of success, it tends to be an accurate gauge for when an entrepreneur’s doing something right. Mad props to these 10 women for kicking ass in the business sphere and inspiring countless others to follow in their footsteps.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."