America’s Richest Self-Made Women

Newcomers & Newsmakers.


  • Rihanna, one of the most publicly charitable celebrities, has donated upwards of $8 million to coronavirus relief efforts.
  • She gave $1 million to New York’s needy, $2.1 million to abuse victims in LA and $5 million to other charities through her Clara Lionel Foundation.
  • Despite her musical success, she’s made the bulk of her fortune from Fenty Beauty, the makeup brand she co-owns with luxury goods group LVMH.
  • She also co-owns Savage X Fenty lingerie line with investors including online fashion firm TechStyle Fashion Group.
  • The Barbados native overcame hardships including an abusive addict father and a well-publicized assault by Chris Brown.

Whitney Wolfe Herd

  • Whitney Wolfe Herd is cofounder and CEO of Bumble Inc., which operates two online dating apps: Bumble and Badoo.
  • Wolfe Herd first founded Bumble, the dating app on which women make the first move, with Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev in 2014.
  • Andreev, who founded Badoo in 2004, sold his stake in both apps to private equity firm Blackstone in November 2019.
  • Wolfe Herd, who owns a 13% stake in Bumble Inc., became the youngest self-made woman billionaire after it went public in February 2021.
  • Together, Bumble and Badoo operate in 150 countries with 42 million monthly active users as of the third quarter of 2020.

Donna Carpenter

  • Donna Carpenter is the owner, chair and former co-CEO of Burton, the snowboarding gear and apparel giant she built with her late husband Jake Burton.
  • Founded in 1977, Burton is credited with launching the modern snowboard and turning a largely unknown hobby into a mainstream sport.
  • The Burlington, Vermont company has offices in six countries, with over 1,000 employees and a 32% share of the global snowboarding industry.
  • Donna set up Burton’s distribution channels in Europe and became the company’s CFO in 1989 and served as CEO from 2016 until early 2020.
  • Under Carpenter’s leadership, Burton became a certified B corporation in October 2019, committing to balance its profits with purpose.

Gwynne Shotwell

  • Gwynne Shotwell is SpaceX’s president and COO, and manages the operations of the commercial space exploration company founded by Elon Musk.
  • It’s grown from a futuristic idea of enabling people to live on other planets to a company with over 6,000 employees and a valuation of $46 billion.
  • In May 2020, the company sent astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time as part of a contract with NASA.
  • Shotwell was the 11th employee of SpaceX, and joined the company in 2002. Before that, she was at Microcosm, Inc. as space systems director.
  • Since 2019, SpaceX has launched over 700 satellites for its Starlink project, which aims to provide high-speed internet service across the globe.

Kelly Steckelberg

  • Kelly Steckelberg has been chief financial officer of work-from-home staple Zoom Video Communications since 2017.
  • Most of her fortune lies in Zoom stock options; Zoom shares have more than quintupled in value in the first 8 months of 2020.
  • Usage of Zoom has surged during the pandemic for everything from work meetings to yoga classes to remote cocktail and birthday parties.
  • Prior to Zoom, Steckelberg was CEO of dating site Zoosk and spent two decades working in finance for companies like Cisco’s Webex.
  • Zoom, which was founded in 2011, listed its shares on Nasdaq in April 2019.

Kris Jenner

  • Mother and manager Kris Jenner runs the business side of the expansive Kardashian-Jenner empire.
  • She was the mastermind behind TV show “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and earns about $100,000 per episode from the series.
  • She also takes a 10% cut of every dollar her kids bring in from modeling, licensing deals and their beauty companies.
  • According to filings released when Kylie Jenner sold a piece of her brand to Coty, Kris also owns a stake in her daughter’s lucrative beauty line.
  • She’s become a celebrity in her own right, penning a cookbook and autobiography, and hosting a talk show that was cancelled after one season on TV.


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