The top paid women in sports, television, movies and music

These women are earning big. Although it may not be as much as their male counterparts, they are still breaking records and setting new precedents in their respective fields. Here are the top earners.


Serena Williams - tennis player

According to Forbes, Serena was the highest paid woman in sports from June 2016 - June 2017 earning $28.9 million (about R383 million) in prize money and endorsements. Although Forbes has not released their list for 2018, Topend Sports predicts that Serena will be number one again this year, estimating that she has already earned $18 million (about R239 million) this year. 

READ MORE: It’s 2018 and female athletes are still not paid the same as male athletes

Forbes has already released it's top 100 highest paid athletes and not a single woman was on the list this is despite the fact that Serena was number 51 in the previous year according to Telegraph.


Sophia Vergara - actress

According to Newsweek Sophia is currently the highest paid TV actress having earned $41.5 million (about R550 million) in 2017 for her role as Gloria on Modern Family. However this might change in 2018 as actresses like Ellen Pompeo who plays Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy has already negotiated a $20 million (about R265 million) annual salary for her role - more actresses might also start negotiating better deals. 

Shonda Rhimes - director/ showrunner

Shonda who is best known for TV series' such as Grey's Anatomy, Scandal a.k.a The Fixer and How to Get Away with Murder, according to Forbes Shonda signed a $100 million (over R1.3 billion) 4-year deal with Netlfix which will allow her to continue working on her ABC shows as well as venture into new projects such as movies. So we are going to see more of her work on our screens, yay! 

READ MORE: Ava DuVernay just hit a major movie milestone PLUS 22 awesome films directed by women that everyone should watch


Emma Stone - actress

Although Forbes has not released the 2018 list of the highest-paid movie actresses, Emma Stone took the top place in 2017 for her role in La La Land, earning $26 million (about R343 million). However, according to Marie Claire, Sandra Bullock takes the the highest-paid movie actress of all time with an estimated $70 million (about R 924 million) for her role in the movie Gravity. 

Patty Jenkins - director/producer

According to Popsugar Patty Jenkins is the highest paid female director of all time. It is said that she will earn $9 million (about R119 million) for the Wonder Woman sequel which is said to be more than triple of her pay in her first Wonder Woman movie.  

READ MORE: Game of Thrones is getting a prequel with a female showrunner – here’s what we know about her


Beyonce - performer

In 2017 Beyonce took the highest-paid woman in music with an earning of $105 million (about R1.4 billion) for her release of Lemonade and her Formation Tour. Who knows how much more she will make from her On the Run II tour and the release of her Everything Is Love album with her husband Jay Z. However, according to Forbes' self made women list Madonna is the number woman in music with a net worth $590 million (about R7.7 billion). 

Images: Getty Images

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways

Voting Booth
What part of your lifestyle are you most conscious about when it comes to sustainability and ethical consumption?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Clothing and accessories
14% - 14 votes
Skincare products and makeup
16% - 16 votes
Food and home
70% - 70 votes