It’s A Record-Breaking Year For Self-Made Women Billionaires. Here’s Why.

Self-made women are trailblazing through the ranks of the World’s Billionaires. Forbes’ 2017 list, released Monday, includes more self-made women billionaires than any year before in the list’s 30-year history. There’s now a record 56 women who made their own 10-digit fortunes, and 15 of these entrepreneurs did so in the past year. But that’s not the only way self-made women billionaires are breaking records this year.

But where do all these self-made women billionaires come from? While the U.S. has the most billionaires overall, the most women entrepreneurs with a 10-digit fortune come from Asia, where there’s 29 in all. The U.S. comes in second with 17 self-made women billionaires. About 67% of all self-made women billionaires in the world come from Asia or America.

Asia is continuing to prove it’s the most hospitable region for female entrepreneurs. Of the 15 newcomers this year, 13 come from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam or Japan. For the second year in a row, the richest self-made women in the world is Hong Kong based Zhou Qunfei. Her publicly traded Lens Technology, headquartered in China, makes glass covers for mobile phones and tablets for customers like Apple and Samsung. Since 2010, there’s only been one year where the world’s richest self-made woman isn’t from Asia.

Here’s one other new record: Self-made women make up more of the billionaires list than the group ever has before: 2.7%, compared with 2.3% last year. While self-made women still make up just a small slice of all the billionaires in the world, consider that self-made women are a fast-growing group. Just five years ago self-made women accounted for 1.8% of the list, which is about 50% less.

Forbes 30th ranking of the World’s Billionaires includes more than 2,000 names who are worth a combined $7.67 trillion. There’s never been more and the group has never had so much wealth before. But self-made women billionaires are joining the three-comma club quicker. The group has increased 170% since 2009, compared with the number of billionaires overall increasing 157% since then.

It’s not just the numbers of self-made women that have surged. The amount of wealth self-made women have created is also a record 1.68% of the total billionaires list, up from 1.49% last year.

Another record: Self-made women billionaires have a combined net worth of $129 billion, up from $96.9 billion last year. And 2017 marks the first year since Forbes has been tracking the fortunes of the super rich that self-made women billionaires own more than $100 billion in assets.

Continue onto Forbes to read more about billionaire women impacting the world.


Panasonic’s Women Connect Group Enriches Experience of Women

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 75 percent of women believe greater change is needed to achieve gender equality in the workplace, compared to 57 percent of their male counterparts. To address the increasing concern about gender equality, major corporations are taking a closer look at their hiring practices and employee resources to promote diversity and inclusion. In an effort to raise awareness at Panasonic Corporation of North America, the company supported the launch of Women Connect, a business impact group to enrich the experience of women within the company. The mission of the group includes fostering inclusion and diversity, career building and demonstrating benefits to recruiting, retention and business development. Membership has grown to over 300 since its inception last year; there are even a few male members. This month, the group will celebrate its 1 year-anniversary. Continue reading Panasonic’s Women Connect Group Enriches Experience of Women


Top Techniques for Hiring Diverse Talent

Create a workforce that reflects the real world

Diversity is a hot topic, with many firms under pressure to look at the composition of their workforce and increase diversity within their company. The challenge is not an easy one; it is a long-term strategy that needs to be woven into the company culture by getting buy-in from senior leadership. In addition, the talent attraction process needs careful thought, planning and strategy dependent on your goals. Thankfully, there are several techniques you can try to help you improve your sourcing game and hone in on the diverse candidates you’re looking for. Continue reading Top Techniques for Hiring Diverse Talent


The 21 hottest women-founded startups to watch in 2017

There has never been a better time to be a woman in the startup world.

There’s no denying we have a long way to go. After all, venture capital firms are made up of mostly men, and some continue to suggest that women aren’t cut out for the tech world at all. And way more VC money is offered to male founders than women.

But more and more women are building multimillion-dollar startups, and venture firms like Forerunner Ventures, BBG Ventures, and Female Founders Fund all focus on companies founded by women.

It’s paying off. 2016 saw female founders launch innovative companies and raise millions to help them grow, while startups in their second or third year of life began gaining ground.

And 2017 will likely be even bigger. Here are some of the most exciting women-run companies to keep an eye on in the coming year.

Parachute wants to make a comfy night’s sleep affordable.

What is it: Parachute is changing how you buy one thing you use every day: your sheets. It produces high-quality bedding from a factory in Italy and then sells it through its website and one store at its headquarters in Venice Beach, California. Parachute bedding has gained a bit of a cult following, and now co-living startups are even advertising that they have Parachute sheets.

Every time a customer buys a set of its Venice line, the company donates a mosquito net to help kids in Africa sleep safer.

Founded: 2014 by Ariel Kaye

Funding: $10.3 million from Upfront Ventures, Joanne Wilson, QueensBridge Venture Partners, and Structure Partners, among others.

Laurel & Wolf connects interior designers with people who want to give their homes an affordable makeover.

Laurel & Wolf connects interior designers with people who want to give their homes an affordable makeover.

What is it: Laurel & Wolf wants to take advantage of a Pinterest-obsessed generation and make it easy and affordable to design your dream home. People searching for a new look can take a survey about their style, upload pictures and information about the space, and post their project. Typically, three to five designers respond with their ideas, so you don’t have to settle on one from the start.

Founded: 2014 by Leura Fine and Brandon Kleinman

Funding: $26.6 million from Benchmark, Charles River Ventures, Tim Draper, and others.

Maven lets you video chat with doctors.

Maven lets you video chat with doctors.

What is it: Maven is a women’s health app that connects you with doctors via video chat, allowing you to ask questions, receive advice, and get prescriptions. Maven was founded by Kate Ryder, who came up with the idea for the app when she was working at a venture capital fund in London. Ryder noticed that her friends were getting pregnant and receiving a lot of misinformation or having trouble finding the right doctor.

Users can connect with doctors, nurse practitioners, and mental health experts through the app.

Founded: 2014 by Kate Ryder

Funding: $4.5 million from Female Founders Fund, Grand Central Tech, BoxGroup, and others.

Read the complete list of start ups on Business Insider.


Here are 6 Reasons Why You Need the Disability Equality Index (DEI)

As a person with a visible disability who has spent most of my professional career in HR leading diversity and inclusion, I’m frequently asked to offer an opinion on the merits of completing the DEI.  Knowing how precious resources are to fill out any kind of survey or assessment tool, it’s an important question, where do companies get the greatest return on investment? Continue reading Here are 6 Reasons Why You Need the Disability Equality Index (DEI)


Ever Thought About Owning Your Own Franchise?

Nothing lasts forever. Hot brands in franchising don’t stay hot forever. New brands are always entering the marketplace. New ideas for products and services are introduced every year. Some of these new franchise concepts end up succeeding–exploding even. Some of them fade away soon after they’re launched. But, even the hot ones eventually lose their fire. Keep that fact in mind as you’re searching for a franchise you’d like to own. Continue reading Ever Thought About Owning Your Own Franchise?