Forbes’ latest list of self-made women billionaires lists 56 around the world, and calls that a historic high-water mark.
More than half the women on Forbes’ list hail from Asia.
Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of Wealthiest Angelenos includes two entries who also are on the Forbes list: Lynda Resnick, who with husband, Stewart, counts a $6.5 billion fortune built around pistachios, almonds and other agricultural products; and Jin Sook Chang, who with husband, Don, tallies a net worth of $4 billion stemming from Forever 21 Inc. and its hundreds of retail stores.
The Forbes list also includes Peggy Cherng, co-founder of Rosemead-based Panda Restaurant Group with husband Andrew, worth a reported $3.3 billion, and entertainment industry mogul Oprah Winfrey, worth a reported $2.8 billion.
The Cherngs have been included in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s tally of Wealthiest Angelenos in past years, but dropped off the list when the couple, who own a home in Pasadena, moved to Las Vegas, which they consider their primary residence.
Winfrey’s Oprah Winfrey Network is headquartered in West Hollywood, but L.A. can only claim the TV and movie star as a wealthy neighbor. She owns two mansions in Montecito and uses one as her primary residence. She owns another home in Maui, Hawaii.
The Business Journal’s Wealthiest list is not limited to self-made individuals – it includes six more women who have entered the billionaire category through at least in part shared wealth: Vera Guerin ($1.5 billion, inheritance, real estate); Tamara Hughes Gustavson ($4.6 billion, inheritance, real estate); Sarah MacMillan ($1.6 billion, inheritance, agribusiness); Lynsi Snyder ($1.3 billion, president of In-N-Out Burgers Inc.); Rochelle Sterling ($5 billion, real estate); and Beyoncé Knowles ($1.4 billion, entertainment).
Lynda Resnick, who owns the Wonderful Co. with her husband, said building a family business kept her from encountering a glass ceiling in the workforce.
“I was too stupid to know it was impossible, so I went ahead and did it,” she said. “I didn’t have to compete because I owned the business, and that’s a lot easier than having to make it another way, though I certainly have served on boards where man-speak was the rule of the day.”
That was the general rule Resnick encountered in the male-dominated business community in California’s Central Valley, the heart of the company’s agribusiness operations.
She didn’t let that stand in her way.
“They were nervous about me coming in, and I’m sure I went back to my office and shed a tear or two, but now we’re all best friends. We did it together.”
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