Businesswomen may be under-represented in the corporate world, but that does not deter these inspiring pioneers from breaking barriers to becoming the richest self-made women in the US.
Celebrating the trailblazers’ inspirational experiences, Forbes placed 100 of the most influential self-made females at the core of the stage.
The passionate women executives in the US have influenced the planet through a multitude of groundbreaking projects from medical record tech companies to rocket construction making a total of US$90 billion net worth.
As a recognition of the most prominent women in the US amid the worldwide pandemic, here is the list of top 10 richest self-made women who are worth remembering on Women History Month.
Diane Hendricks – #1 Richest Self-made Women
Co-founder and Chairman, ABC Supply
Net Worth – $8B
- #1 in the list of top self-made women is Diane Hendricks who chairs ABC Supply, one of America’s leading bulk manufacturers of roofing, siding, and curtains.
- In 1982, Hendricks co-founded the company with her late husband, Ken, in Beloit, Wisconsin. She had been running it since his death in 2007.
- She led ABC to make the two largest acquisitions in its history, purchasing competitor Bradco in 2010 and construction materials provider L&W Supply in 2016.
- The corporation has 780 corporate offices and over $11 billion in revenue.
- Before meeting Ken, the roofer, Hendricks sold custom homes for a designer.
- She has invested Millions in local economic growth, restoring whole blocks in Beloit and adding many new industries to the state.
CEO of Quibi
Net Worth – $5.9B
- Meg Whitman is well known for bringing eBay from $5.7 million to $8 billion in revenue as CEO from 1998 to 2008.
- From 2011 to 2015, she was CEO of Hewlett-Packard, overseeing its division into HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
- In February 2018, she resigned as Chief Executive Officer of HPE. She sits on the Procter & Gamble and Dropbox committees.
- She is now the CEO of Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new short-form content website, unveiled in April 2020.
- In 2018, Whitman invested in the LA-based e-sports firm Immortals LLC and took a seat on the board of directors.
CEO and Founder, Epic Systems
Net Worth – $5.5B
- In 1979, Judy Faulkner formed Epic, America’s leading supplier of medical record software, in the Wisconsin basement.
- Faulkner, a computer scientist, continues to be CEO of the $3.2 billion worth (2019 sales) business.
- Epic supports more than 250 million patients with a medical history and is used by leading medical services such as Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic.
- The firm has never raised venture capital or acquired it and produces all of its apps in-house.
- Faulkner signed the Giving Pledge in 2015 and subsequently promised to donate 99 percent of its stake in Epic to a private charity organization.
Co-founder of Love’s Travel Stops
Net Worth – $5.40 Billion
- Judy Love and her husband Tom opened their first gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma, in 1964 with a $5,000 loan from Tom’s parents.
- Judy maintained the accounts and ran Tom’s business until 1975 when she went to college.
- Today, their Love’s Travel Stops & Country Shops has more than 520 stores in 41 countries.
- Judy is one of the top self-made women who is the Executive Secretary of Love and the Chairman of the Love Family Fund today.
- Her husband Tom is the president of Love; three of the four children work for the firm.
Co-founder of JB Hunt Transport Services
Net Worth – $4B
- In 1961, Johnelle Hunt and her late husband, J.B. (d. 2006), sold their home and borrowed to launch the rice hull packaging business.
- Eight years later, they purchased five trucks and seven trailers to start J.B. Hunt Transport Services.
- The Lowell, Arkansas corporation became public in 1983 and is now one of the nation’s largest shipping firms, with a $9.2 billion net worth.
- Hunt, who resigned as corporate secretary in 2008, remains the company’s largest private shareholder, with a 17 percent holding.
- In 2019, Hunt promised $5 million to create a new baseball complex at Arkansas University.
Co-founder of Little Ceaser’s Pizza
Net Worth – $3.7B
- In 1959, Marian Ilitch and her partner, Mike, who died in 2017, co-founded Little Caesars Pizza.
- Mrs. I, as she is called, now runs a pizza franchise that sells more than $4 billion in annual system-wide revenue.
- She now owns the Detroit Red Wings and the MotorCity Casino Hotel; Mike’s Detroit Tigers is now a family trust.
- Ilitch helps create a $1.4 billion sports and entertainment district in Detroit that features a modern headquarters with pizza-shaped glass.
- In the early days, she had to prevent her husband from giving away free pizzas.
Net Worth – $3.6B
- Resnick is a publicity maven behind Wonderful Co., a $4.6 billion (sales) snack and drink conglomerate she and her partner, Stewart, own.
- The Wonderful Co. brands include Pom Wonderful, Mandarin Halos, Wonderful Pistachio, and Fiji Water.
- They also own 135,000 acres of orchards in Texas, Mexico, and California, cultivating pistachios, almonds, pomegranates, and orange mandarins.
- They were divorced and reunited in the 1960s when she gave marketing assistance to his flourishing alarm company.
Net Worth – $3.2B
- Thai Lee is CEO of SHI International’s ($10.7 billion worth) IT provider, which has more than 20,000 clients, including Boeing and AT&T.
- Born in Bangkok, Lee grew up in South Korea and went to high school in the United States.
- She completed her MBA at Harvard and worked in Procter & Gamble, and American Express until SHI.
- In 1989, Lee and her ex-husband paid less than $1 million to a tech reseller, the ancestor to SHI.
- In 2018, Lee joined the board of Sonde Health, a biopharmaceutical firm, PureTech Health, developing voice-based diagnostic technology.
Co-founder of Gap
Net Worth – $2.9B
- In 1969, Doris Fisher co-founded the clothes store Gap with her partner, Don (d. 2009), after a couple failed to find jeans that suit him.
- The couple raised $63,000 to open their first shop selling denim and music in San Francisco.
- Doris Fisher worked as the company’s merchandiser from the day she started her business until 2003 and remained on Gap’s board until 2009.
- Gap canceled its plans to spin off the Old Navy as an independent public corporation in early 2020.
- The Stanford Economics graduate of 1953 co-founded the KIPP Foundation, which supported public charter schools, with a donation of $15 million.
Entrepreneur, Personality, Philanthropist
Net Worth – $2.7B
- Oprah Winfrey has transformed her hit talk show, running for 25 years, into a television and industry conglomerate.
- According to ” Forbes ” figures, the former news anchor built the reinvested earnings from her talk show to $2 billion.
- Winfrey founded the OWN cable channel in 2011. Its 25.5 percent of the network is worth more than $65 million.
- The ‘Oprah Influence’ has extended to Weight Watchers: it acquired a 10% interest in 2015 (down to 7%) and served as a brand ambassador.
- She returned to the small screen on Apple TV+ in March 2020 for an interview show about Covid-19 as part of her multi-year contract with the streamer.
Successful women around the world are a true inspiration, motivation, and most importantly, a real example. So, you got to be strong and immovable against any storm in the business forefront and lead your tribe.
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