NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Women Surpass Men In Forbes 400

October 15, 2003

History is being made at Forbes magazine. For the first time since its inception in 1982, women on the Forbes' list of the 400 Richest People in America topped men in average net worth, with $2.8 billion versus $2.4 billion for men.

Although previous lists have included more than this year's 50 women, "an increasing number of women on the list are self-made," said Pete Newcomb, senior editor at Forbes who has worked on the Forbes 400 since the days of the Duponts, Rockefellers and Mellons.

  • Merrill Lynch, which commissioned a survey of rich females (women with over $3 million in their bank accounts), found that 43 percent of Americans with more than $500,000 in investable wealth are female.
  • A surge in start-ups, unhampered by old-boys' networks, has contributed to women's rise in the ranks, as well as entrepreneurs.

"Women-owned businesses are growing at a rate of 11 percent -- not quite double the growth of all businesses," says Sharon Hadary, executive director of the Center for Women's Business Research.

"There are a lot of women in the dot-com companies, the eBays of the world," says Josephine Linden, head of the New York office of Private Wealth Management for Goldman Sachs. "Clearly, they're companies that don't have the traditional corporate structure of larger industrial companies."

Source: Beth Kwon, "New Girls' Club," New York Post, September 28, 2003.


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