Forbes’ Rich List shows Bill Gates is 40 times richer than richest woman in tech

3 Mar 2015

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Image via Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Forbes has released its annual Rich List and while it’s no surprise that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates reigns supreme, the list also shows the richest self-made woman in tech is 40 times less better off than Gates.

Forbesannual Rich List reveals this year’s most notable change amongst a sea of familiarity is the rise of Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, to seventh place, with US$22.7bn following last year’s lucrative IPO which saw a share value reach a record high of US$92.70.

Given the power the tech industry has on our daily lives, it may come as no surprise that of the top 15 richest people in the world at the moment, seven of them made their enormous sums of wealth through technology.

In a list which rarely deviates wildly from year to year, it is equally unsurprising to see that the rich are getting richer, with the top 15 tech billionaires worth a combined US$426bn, marking an 11.6pc increase on 2014.

Despite his increased philanthropic activities and enormous donations, Gates dominates the top of the chart with an estimated worth of US$79.2bn with Oracle founder Larry Ellison falling behind somewhat at US$54.3bn.

Disparity between genders in tech

It’s certainly a different story for the richest self-made tech billionaire when it comes to women. HP CEO and former president and CEO of eBay Meg Whitman is the highest ranking woman in tech at No 949 overall, with an estimated value of US$2bn. The widow of former Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs, who has established a name for herself as the founder and chair of the Emerson Collective, is worth US$19.8bn and ranks 45th.

However, second in the list for 2015’s billionaire newcomers was Elizabeth Holmes, who at age 31, is the youngest female self-made billionaire worth US$4.5bn. She established the blood testing company Theranos back in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic