An interesting little number stemming from the divorce of Mackenzie and Jeff Bezos. She, of course, now becomes the world’s third richest woman as a result of the roughly 4% of Amazon she gains. And, well, the marriage vows do indeed still mean I thee with my worldly goods endow even if they’re not said. For that’s what that legal contract of marriage does say. So, you know, there we go.
It’s just that with this divorce settlement we’ve got little points being made like this:
MacKenzie, a book author, is now one of the richest women in the world, according to The Washington Post. She follows behind the $54 billion fortune of L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and the $44 billion wealth held by Alice Walton. She is almost tied in third place with Mars candy company heiress Jacqueline Badger Mars, who has a net worth of $37 billion.
Note that not one of those four has made their own wealth. They’ve either married into it or inherited it. Hey, maybe they’ve managed it well once they’ve got it but it’s not possible to say that any of them actually made those fortunes themselves.
Contrast this to the list of the four richest men on the planet:
#1 Jeff Bezos & family.
#2 Bill Gates.
#3 Warren Buffett.
#4 Bernard Arnault & family.
All four of those made their money themselves. Sure, we can argue about whether it was from an entirely standing start or not but none of them were plutocratically rich and they are now.
Actually, we can go further. All the top 10 richest people in the world made their own money. All of whom are men. We have to get to #11 and 12 – the Koch brothers – before we’ve someone inheriting a major fortune.
So, let’s try this again. All of the world’s top ten richest men are self made. None of the world’s top 4 richest women are self made. In fact:
In fact, of the top 10 wealthiest women, eight inherited all their riches while two — Australia’s Gina Rinehart, who sources her fortune from iron ore, and U.S.’s Abigail Johnson, who heads Fidelity Investments — received a family business but played a hand in substantially growing it.
Hands up everyone surprised that there’s a gender wealth gap?