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How 10 Billionaires Surmounted Failure to Build Massive Empires

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Overcoming gut-wrenching failure is often a surprising prerequisite for achieving phenomenal success.

In fact, it’s actually quite the rarity to have an impeccable track record like the legendary investor Warren Buffett that dates all the way back to the very early years.

It’s far more normal for entrepreneurs to experience incredible amounts of adversity through their careers, whether it’s a business bankruptcy or a tragic personal setback. Instead of capitulating, these people are able to tap into their grit, willpower, and discipline to help them surmount catastrophic moments and set a foundation for future achievement.

Billionaire Examples

Today’s infographic comes to us from Quick Base, and it shows the career trajectories of 10 billionaires ranging from Richard Branson to Oprah Winfrey.

It shows us that experiencing massive failures is common to even the most financially successful individuals – and it’s how one get through these tough events that really counts.

How 10 Billionaires Surmounted Failure to Build Massive Empires

Walt Disney’s first studio went bankrupt in just two years, while Jack Ma couldn’t even get a job at KFC. Elon Musk has a lengthy timeline of failures as well.

Oprah Winfrey overcame multiple obstacles early on, including childhood abuse, a miscarriage at 14, and sexual abuse in the workplace.

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

– Winston Churchill

For many of these entrepreneurs, it would have been socially acceptable to give up after these tragic events. However, as Churchill says, it was their ability to persevere that actually helps define their success in the first place.

Meanwhile, the results for the billionaires above speak for themselves.

Jeff Bezos has a massive empire and is the richest person on the planet. Oprah became the first female African-American billionaire in 2003. Walt Disney started a studio that has stood the test of time, and Jack Ma is a well-known billionaire and personality even outside of China.

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Demographics

The Smallest Gender Wage Gaps in OECD Countries

Which OECD countries have the smallest gender wage gaps? We look at the 10 countries with gaps lower than the average.

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Chart showing the OECD countries with the 10 smallest gender pay gaps

The Smallest Gender Pay Gaps in OECD Countries

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Among the 38 member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), several have made significant strides in addressing income inequality between men and women.

In this graphic we’ve ranked the OECD countries with the 10 smallest gender pay gaps, using the latest data from the OECD for 2022.

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between median full-time earnings for men and women divided by the median full-time earnings of men.

Which Countries Have the Smallest Gender Pay Gaps?

Luxembourg’s gender pay gap is the lowest among OECD members at only 0.4%—well below the OECD average of 11.6%.

RankCountryPercentage Difference in Men's & Women's Full-time Earnings
1🇱🇺 Luxembourg0.4%
2🇧🇪 Belgium1.1%
3🇨🇷 Costa Rica1.4%
4🇨🇴 Colombia1.9%
5🇮🇪 Ireland2.0%
6🇭🇷 Croatia3.2%
7🇮🇹 Italy3.3%
8🇳🇴 Norway4.5%
9🇩🇰 Denmark5.8%
10🇵🇹 Portugal6.1%
OECD Average11.6%

Notably, eight of the top 10 countries with the smallest gender pay gaps are located in Europe, as labor equality laws designed to target gender differences have begun to pay off.

The two other countries that made the list were Costa Rica (1.4%) and Colombia (1.9%), which came in third and fourth place, respectively.

How Did Luxembourg (Nearly) Eliminate its Gender Wage Gap?

Luxembourg’s virtually-non-existent gender wage gap in 2020 can be traced back to its diligent efforts to prioritize equal pay. Since 2016, firms that have not complied with the Labor Code’s equal pay laws have been subjected to penalizing fines ranging from €251 to €25,000.

Higher female education rates also contribute to the diminishing pay gap, with Luxembourg tied for first in the educational attainment rankings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index Report for 2023.

See More Graphics about Demographics and Money

While these 10 countries are well below the OECD’s average gender pay gap of 11.6%, many OECD member countries including the U.S. are significantly above the average. To see the full list of the top 10 OECD countries with the largest gender pay gaps, check out this visualization.

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