Hey Forbes, Why No “Richest Self-Made” Men?

Dear Forbes,

It is a pleasure, as it always has been these last four years, to read through your latest “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” list — even if, at least in my circles, people were horrified that now not one, but two, Kardashian/ Jenners made it on. (Pfshaw! I said. Good for them!)

In my mind, your “America’s Richest Self-Made Women” list serves as a great female corrective to your “400 Richest Americans” list whose most recent edition included only 55 women, all but 12 of whom had made it on as a result of marriage or one of the three Ds: divorce, death (of a spouse) or daughterhood.

To get on the “400 Richest Americans” list last year one needed a net worth of $2 billion; to get on today’s “Richest Self-Made Women” list one needed a comparatively more attainable net worth of $320 million, so there is that aspect too — a lowering of the bar so as to include more women. Here, here! And chalk one up for gender equity.

But can there truly be gender equity when Forbes has no comparable list of “America’s Richest Self-Made Men”?

Of the men on Forbes’s “400 Richest Americans” list, 92 of them had significant inherited wealth, a category of men that Warren Buffett likes to refer to as “the lucky sperm club.” Yes, I’m looking at you, Donald Trump.

So why not start an “America’s Richest Self-Made Men” list? After all, if we’re going to single out women for celebration on the basis of their going out and creating their own fortunes, shouldn’t we do the same for men?

And that would truly be equity.