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The Billionaire Moms Club

In time for Mother’s Day, Forbes has published a list of billionaire moms.

There are 70 billionaire moms in the world, but only eight of them have built their fortune on their own. In contrast, there are 555 self-made billionaire dads on the list.

The disparity between moms and dads is more evidence that working women don’t have the same opportunities as men and are still not paid as much for the same work. In many parts of the world, women — especially mothers – aren’t allowed to work outside of the home, which obviously limits their professional and financial opportunities.

The bulk of the moms on the list inherited fortunes from fathers or late husbands, including the world’s richest woman and mom, Christy Walton, whose late husband was the son of the founder of Wal-Mart. Walton, mother of one child, tops the list with an estimated total of $22.5 billion.

Self-made billionaire moms include “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling, ebay’s Meg Whitman, and Giuliana Benetton whose eponymous clothing company made her family not only incredibly wealthy, but also famous around the world.

Whitman is the richest American mom on the list. Mother of two sons, she attributes her success to her own mother.

In her book The Power of Many, Whitman wrote that her mother gave her “a bias toward action.” Earlier this year, she told Forbes Woman that her mother taught her that “you don’t have to be perfect to be a leader, but you can’t be timid.”

Asia’s richest woman, Savitri Jindal, the widowed matriarch of  steel and power conglomerate OP Jindal Group, has nine children, more than any woman on the list.

Other enterprising moms on the list include Rosalia Mera, who launched the Spanish clothing firm Zara with her ex-husband, and Doris Fisher, who co-founded The Gap with her late husband in 1969.

Meanwhile, not all moms are feeling so flush. A recent Career Builder survey of moms with children under 18 found that 36% of moms are the sole breadwinner in their house.

In the survey, 12 percent of working moms said their spouse or significant other became unemployed in the last 12 months, and 67 percent said that has caused additional stress at home. Also, 9 percent said they have taken a second job in the last 12 months.

Photo:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffbelmonte/ / CC BY 2.0
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