This Fearless Girl May Change The Face Of Wall Street

A Wall Street firm has fitted a statue of a girl in Lower Manhattan to stare down the well-known bronze charging bull on International Women's Day.

On Tuesday morning, the day preceding IWD, a bronze statue of a young girl was erected directly in front of Wall Street's famous bronze bull.

US money manager State Street said Wednesday it is going to start putting real pressure on the 3,500 companies it invests in to put more women in charge - or they'll put their money where their mouth is and leave.

The statue was installed as a call to increase gender diversity in the boardroom ahead of International Women's Day, when women across the world took to the streets to march and strike in "A Day Without A Woman" events. 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.

It was commissioned by the investment firm, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) and is meant to call attention to income inequality in the corporate world.

It's part of its new campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards. The artwork was sculpted by Kristen Visbal and installed by State Street Global Advisors, a big investment firm, which called upon "companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards".

A defiant little girl, with hands on hips, gaze deadened and feet firmly planted, now stands before the bull in an air of confrontation. Companies with strong female leadership perform better than those that do not, according to a 2015 study cited by State Street.

It instantly brought me back to the 1993 Academy Awards, which the movie industry had myopically declared "The Year of the Woman".

In the statement, SSGA noted that it issued guidelines on Wednesday that will lead to more gender-diverse boards.

The simple act of getting permission is emblematic of a need, shared by many women, to have 100% approval rather than boldly striding forth with an idea.

The iconic bull statue in Wall Street may have met his match, and she's female.

The statue will remain at least a week, but may remain longer, according to Adweek. "Will they? I doubt it", O'Hanley, told the Wall Street Journal.

  • Todd Kelly