Wall Street’s famous statue has a brand new neighbor and she’s not taking any bull! A bronze ‘Fearless Girl’ was installed right in time for International Women’s Day on March 8, but what’s the reason behind her defiant staredown of the ‘Charging Bull?’
It means that it’s time for more women in the corporate boardroom! Fearless Girl, a statue of a girl standing boldly in front of Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull, is part of a campaign that symbolizes the power of women in leadership. The campaign, rolled out ahead of International Women’s Day and the March 8 Women’s Strike, also calls for more companies to put female executives in top positions.
“Today, we are calling on companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards and have issued clear guidance to help them begin to take action,” said Ron O’Hanley, president and CEO of State Street Global Investors — the company behind the statue and campaign — said in a statement, per CNN. “A key contributor to effective independent board leadership is diversity of thought, which requires directors with different skills, backgrounds and expertise.”
The campaign calls on the 3,500 companies that SSGA invests in (on behalf of its clients) to increase the number of women on top, and there’s a good reason they should! A MSCI (aka Morgan Stanley Capital International) study says that companies with “strong female leadership” generate a 10.1% return on equity per year, which is up from 7.4% for those without women at the top, according to AdWeek.
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) March 8, 2017
— Lotte Leicht (@LotteLeicht1) March 8, 2017
Despite this, only one in four Russell 3000 companies don’t have a single woman on their board of directors and nearly 60% of boardrooms have less than 15% women around the table. So, not only is it horrible for a company’s diversity, it’s a foolish business decision!
Fearless Girl, the four-foot tall statue, was designed by Kristen Visbal. A small plaque at her feet reads, “Know the power of women leadership. SHE makes a difference.” She was put up at 3 a.m. ET in lower Manhattan, similar to the illegal way the Charging Bull statue was originally erected. Arturo Di Modica, 76, an Italian-American artist, put the world-famous beast on Wall Street in 1989 as a show of love for America’s strength after the devastating stock-market crash of 1987.
Despite the “guerrilla” nature of the statue’s construction, the city loved the Bull so much that they decided to let the statue stay. Fearless Girl is expected to remain in place long after International Women Day/ the Women’s Strike, for about a month or more. Perhaps this brave girl will become a new permanent reminder for those working on Wall Street?
What do you think about Fearless Girl, HollywoodLifers? Should the City keep her there permanently?