When considering the world’s wealthiest women, many people tend to envision those who currently occupy the entertainment spotlight.
However, the women with the highest net worths may not be the most familiar faces, but they are associated with companies that are instantly recognizable.
Here are the 12 richest women in the world, according to Forbes’ list in March 2017.
12. Blair Parry-Okeden (Net Worth: 12.2 billion). Australia’s richest woman by net worth, Blair Parry-Okeden, is a billionaire heiress to Cox Enterprises, a privately held American conglomerate in Atlanta. Despite her powerful family, Parry-Okeden has chosen to reside in a small town and lived in anonymity until the death of her mother, Barbara Cox Anthony, made her a billionaire.
11. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken (Net Worth: $12.6 billion). One of the richest women in the UK, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is a businesswoman and owner of a 25% controlling stake in Heineken International, the world’s second largest brewer. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken had no money to her name except a single share of Heineken stock and was a stay-at-home mother of five with no business education, but when her father passed away when she was 47, she inherited control of Heineken and became a self-made heiress.
10. Beate Heister (Net Worth: $13.6 billion). German billionaire, Beate Heister, is the daughter of Karl Albrecht Sr., who transformed his family’s suburban corner store into a leading global discount supermarket chain, Aldi, with his brother. Known to be “notoriously reclusive,” Heister has never worked for the company her father pioneered, but she sits on the advisory board alongside her husband and son.
9. Iris Fontbona (Net Worth: $13.7 billion). Fontbona ranks as the 101st wealthiest person in the world and holds the title of being the wealthiest person in Chile. Iris’s husband, Andrónico Luksic, built a fortune in mining and beverages and left his businesses (Antofagasta PLC) to her and their three sons when he died in 2005. Fontbona has set records for her philanthropic efforts, including a $4.3 million donation to the Chilean Telethon, which aims to help children with physical disabilities.
8. Abigail Johnson (Net Worth: $14.4 billion). American businesswoman, Abigail Johnson, took over as president and chief executive officer of US investment firm Fidelity Investments in 2014, which was founded by her grandfather Edward C. Johnson II. In 2016, she became chairwoman of Fidelity International while maintaining her role as CEO and president.
7. Gina Rinehart (Net Worth: $15 billion). One of Australia’s richest citizens, Gina Rinehart, is an heiress of Hancock Prospecting, a privately owned mineral exploration and extraction company. Rinehart inherited a 76.6% share in her father Lang Hancock’s company and succeeded him as executive chairman in 1992. Rinehart was also included on Forbes’ list of most powerful women in the world.
6. Laurene Powell Jobs (Net Worth: 20 billion). The wealthiest woman in the technology industry, Laurene Powell Jobs, is the widow of Apple Inc. co-founder and former, Steve Jobs. Laurene serves as the executive and founder of Emerson Collective, an organization which centers around education, immigration reform, the environment, and other social justice initiatives.
5. Susanne Klatten (Net Worth: 20.4 billion). Germany’s richest woman, Susanne Klatten, inherited interests in automaker BMW from her parents, Herbert and Johanna Quandt. On top of the 12.50% stake in BMW that her father left her, Klatten also inherited his 50.1% stake in the pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer, Atlanta, which she is credited for transforming into a world-class corporation.
4. Maria Franca Fissolo (Net Worth: $25.2 billion). Italian billionaire, Maria Franca Fissolo is the owner of Europe’s second largest confectionery company, Ferrero SpA. Fissolo’s late husband, Michele Ferrero, built the company, which has become known for its popular products including Nutella, Kinder chocolates, and Tic-Tac mints.
3. Jacqueline Mars (Net Worth: $27 billion). Heiress to Mars, Incorporated, Jacqueline Mars, owns one-third of the company which holds the title of being the largest candy maker in the world. Jacqueline is the granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, who founded the company back in 1911. Mars worked for the company for almost 20 years, served on the board, and has become known for her philanthropic efforts.
2. Alice Walton (Net Worth: $33.8 billion). Daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and Helen Walton, Alice reportedly owns over $11 billion in Walmart shares. While her brothers have taken on roles for the Walmart enterprise, Alice Walton has focused her efforts on the art world and opened the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in 2011, which features works of renowned artists such as Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko.
1. Liliane Bettencourt (Net Worth: $39.5 billion). Not only taking the title of richest woman in the world, Liliane Bettencourt, is said to be the richest woman in history. Liliane owns 33% of the world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oréal, with her children. The company was founded by Liliane’s father, Eugene Schueller, in 1907.