Women are outpacing men in the race to join the Billionaire's Club, according to the UBS/PwC Billionaire Report.
The number of female billionaires grew by a factor 6.6 from 1995 to 2014, and the number of men by a smaller factor of 5.2. This trend has been brilliantly dubbed 'The Athena Factor'.
The report - which looked back over 20 years, surveying 1300 people in the 14 markets that account for 75% of global billionaire wealth - stated: 'Women have been controlling greater average wealth than men and becoming more influential in family businesses, philanthropic enterprises and governance.'
While most female billionaires (80%) come from the US and Europe, the rise in female billionaires is concentrated within certain parts of the world, such as Asia. Ten years ago, there were just three Asian female billionaires; now there are 25, more than half of whom are first-generation entrepreneurs. More than 50% of Asian female billionaires are self-made, compared to 19% in the US and 7% in Europe.
The report claimed the rise of the Asian female entrepreneur was 'creating an entirely new billionaire demographic'.
Although the Billionaire's Club is still very much dominated by men over 60, this news is illustrative of the great strides 21st century women are making in business.
The study concluded: 'Although female billionaires remain a minority, the growing opportunities for women to accumulate wealth suggests female entrepreneurs will drive significant growth in the number of billionaire women.'
Words by Francesca Donovan