The number of female billionaires around the world is growing at a rate that outpaces their male counterparts, a new report by Swiss bank UBS and accounting firm PwC found. Myriad factors have contributed to their swelling bank accounts, from China's one-child policy to growing gender equality. Still, the gender divide within the world's billionaires remains blatantly disproportionate, with 11 percent of the world's billionaires in 2014 identified as female and 89 percent as male, the report highlighted, the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.
Overall, of female billionaires around the world, about 90 percent had inherited that money from their fathers or their husbands, according to the report. In China, that's where the one-child policy comes into play. The number of billionaires there is rising in part because only one child exists to take over family wealth. Nevertheless, more than half of female billionaires in Asia are self-made, compared with 19 percent and 7 percent in the U.S. and Europe, respectively.
“In a number of heavyweight listed companies in China, daughters of founders and business leaders have inherited the reins,” said Francis Liu, managing director at UBS Wealth Management, the Post reported.
Billionaire women in Asia tend to be younger than their counterparts in other parts of the world. The average age of a billionaire in the United States is 59 and in Europe 65. In Asia, however, it's 53. One reason the region may be seeing a greater share of women accruing such wealth earlier in their lives is increased gender equality in both education and business, the report suggested. Women also take on bigger and more leading roles in family-owned businesses in Asia than do women in the U.S. and Europe, it said.
Around the world, the number of female billionaires grew 6.6 times from 1995 to 2014. Among men, however, those who had accumulated such wealth grew 5.2 times. Still, the proportion of female billionaires is rising slowly; in 1995, women constituted 9 percent of the world's 255 billionaires, and in 2014, it was 11 percent.