'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. It is 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. State Street Global's goal is to push companies to increase the number of women directors.
 
Artist Kristen Visbal's "Fearless Girl" drew crowds March 8. They 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.
 
"We want to engage with boards and management around issues that we think will drive core results," said Lori Heinel. She is 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. He is a Dallas resident and native of India. He was visiting New York with his family. The Charging Bull was one of their stops.
 
The mammoth bronze bull was a "guerrilla art" act. It was dropped in the middle of the night in Bowling Green Park in 1989 without permission. An artist 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. It has 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. "I just wanted to look at her and wanted to feel like her," she said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why aren't there more women in finance?
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COMMENTS (4)
  • cristianah-ver
    3/17/2017 - 09:14 a.m.

    I think that the statue was a good idea because it shows little girls and teen girls that they can do anything a man can do. Many young girls do not participate in sports because they do not think they can do it. I also think that it was a good idea because it encourages woman to do the " Run From the Bulls" event and that will show men that we are strong to. I

  • samid-ver
    3/17/2017 - 02:31 p.m.

    I really enjoyed this article. I think that the little girl is a great symbol to prove that women are needed as a "top dog" of a company. What I don't understand is why the city wants to get rid of it. So many people are willing to see it. Right now that sculpture is more popular than the bull. I believe that the city should keep it.

  • kimberlyc-
    3/20/2017 - 08:41 a.m.

    there aren't many women in finance because its mostly men that work in those jobs.I think this statue really represents whats going on

  • myahr-orv
    3/21/2017 - 02:45 p.m.

    I think that the statue was a good idea because it shows a little girls and teen girls that they can do anything a man can do. Many young girls do not participate in sports because they do not think they can do it.I also think that it was god idea because it encourages woman to do the "Run From the Bulls " event and that will show men that we are strong to.

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