'Fearless Girl' stares down Wall Street's iconic bull A statue titled "Fearless Girl" faces the Wall Street bull, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in New York. A big investment firm, State Street Global Advisors, put the statue there to highlight International Women's Day. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
'Fearless Girl' stares down Wall Street's iconic bull
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A statue of a resolute young girl staring down Wall Street's famous Charging Bull was erected by a major asset managing firm for International Women's Day to make a point: There's a dearth of women on the boards of the largest U.S. corporations.
 
State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based investment giant, had the statue created to push companies to increase the number of women directors.
 
Artist Kristen Visbal's "Fearless Girl" drew crowds March 8 that initially came to pose for pictures with the bull, but the novelty quickly became a New York City hot spot.
 
The girl is sculpted in bronze, her hands firmly planted on her waist, ponytailed head held high.
 
"Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference," reads a plaque at her feet.
 
"As a steward of nearly $2.5 trillion of assets, we want to engage with boards and management around issues that we think will drive core results," said Lori Heinel, State Street's deputy global chief investment officer. "And what you find repeatedly is having more diverse boards and more diverse senior management will actually drive better results for companies."
 
Twenty-five percent of the Russell 3000 - a broad index of U.S. companies - have no women on their boards, according to State Street, which manages many of their assets.
 
According to ISS Analytics, a business research firm, just 16 percent of board seats on companies in the Russell 3000 are held by women; the average board of directors has eight men and one woman.
 
"It's going to happen to the end of time unless you change something," says Erik Gordon, a lawyer and professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. "It's got to not just be the rules. It's got to be the culture."
 
State Street has three women on an 11-member board. Heinel said her company also will urge those in Great Britain and Australia to add women to their leadership.
 
One man working in corporate America needed no convincing.
 
Chandrasekar Sundaram says a woman is the CEO of the company he works for in Texas, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and has quite a few women reporting to her.
 
"But when it gets to 50 percent, that's when I think it'll be right," said Sundaram, a Dallas resident and native of India who was visiting New York with his family - with the Charging Bull as one of their stops.
 
The mammoth bronze was a "guerrilla art" act, dropped in the middle of the night in Bowling Green Park in 1989 without permission, by an artist who created it as a symbol of Americans' survival energy following the 1987 stock market crash. The city gave its permission for the bull to remain.
 
McCann New York, a top advertising agency, installed the statue of the girl before dawn March 7, with a city permit for one week. Negotiations are underway for the piece to remain longer.
 
Why choose the Charging Bull as the site to place the girl?
 
"Well, we really wanted the bull to have a partner, and a partner that we thought was worthy of him," Heinel said. "And so we got a very determined young woman who is fearless and is willing to drive the change that we believe we need."
 
Sundaram's 8-year-old daughter, Sankaribriya, got the message.
 
She wanted to pose with the sculpted girl "because I just wanted to look at her and wanted to feel like her."

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COMMENTS (7)
  • jacksona-pla
    3/14/2017 - 08:43 a.m.

    For international women's day, a statue of a resolute girl was placed in a position to be staring down the iconic bull statue on Wall Street. The message of the statue is that there should be more women in leadership positions, specifically in the financial sector. A small percentage of US company board seats are held by women, many people believe this is destructive. I feel that this was an incredibly powerful way to drive change through civic engagement. Rather than women staying home and shirking their responsibilities, this statue shows how women are deserving of more responsibility.

  • collinh-pla
    3/14/2017 - 10:10 a.m.

    A large investment firm dropped a statue titled "Fearless Girl" across from the famous bull statue on Wall street. The statue came as a symbol to call for equality in the workplace, specifically to urge large companies to diversify their board of directors. 25% of large companies do not have any female directors on their board, the average make up is 8 males to one female. Studies have shown that companies with more diverse boards perform better. I think workplace equality is just one of many ways we as a society can work towards equality. Gender equality has come a long way in 100 years but it still needs to improve. Adding women to leadership roles is an important step in attaining equality in the workplace.

  • maed-pla
    3/14/2017 - 01:30 p.m.

    This article is about the statue of the "Fearless Girl", created in spirit of this year's International Women's Day. The statue is a response to the lack of female representation within Wall Street companies. The ultimate goal for representation is to have 50% of the board members be women. McCann New York chose the location because they wanted to have an equal partner to the famous Charging Bull and that came in a form of a fearless, ambitious young girl. I think the statue is an excellent example of the civic engagement, as it spreads awareness to a pressing controversial topic that is the gender disparity in the workplace.

  • avad-pla
    3/14/2017 - 01:36 p.m.

    A bronze statue of a fearless young girl staring down the Wall Street Charging Bull was installed on March 7. The statue is titled “Fearless Girl” and was placed in time for International Women’s Day, highlighting the need for an increase in female leadership on boards of large United States corporations. Perhaps the most powerful part of the statue is the plaque which reads “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” I think the importance of this statute goes beyond its original intent. The article referenced how a little girl said she wanted to look just like the statue and be like her. Representation is so crucial, especially when it comes to young children. If they are not exposed to females in leadership roles, children may not know their options which can lead to them selling themselves short. Additionally, I disagree with the interviews featured in the article. I would have liked to see women interviewed about the empowerment associated with the statue instead of a male who works in corporate America saying that he agreed with female leadership. I believe that the article should have gotten away from seeking validation from a male and instead should have gotten a viewpoint of a female who holds one of these positions.

  • williamb-pla
    3/17/2017 - 11:38 a.m.

    The article explains the significance of a bronze statue that was recently erected on Wall Street. The statue depicts a small girl staring down the "Charging Bull." In the article, the executives of the company that made the statue felt that the bull needed a partner that "was worthy of him." The purpose is to get big-name companies to include more female directors. This is extremely important coming off the women's marches and International Women's Day, raising awareness of gender inequalities in all aspects of life. Overall, I believe their gesture makes a very prominent and positive message for the inclusion of women.

  • sydneyb-ver
    3/17/2017 - 02:20 p.m.

    I think that's it really cool how they decided to put up the statue of the girl in front of the bull. I'm glad that they're trying to help women get more important jobs that used to only belong to men.

  • irisp-ste
    3/20/2017 - 09:00 a.m.

    I love this statue. The photo featured with the article shows how young girls will see this figure and be inspired to take on any challenges that men may typically be in charge of. The statue is a perfect celebration of Women's Day as more women work to enter the world of finance alongside their equal male counterparts.

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