'Fearless Girl' Shows Up On Wall Street Just In Time For International Women's Day

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Image via JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The Fearless Girl statue captures hearts of Wall Street on International Women’s Day

The iconic Charging Bull statue on Wall Street has always represented the determination and work ethic of the American people. Wall Street itself has long been a male dominated “boys club” full of investment bankers and hedge funders. Yesterday a new statue arrived, giving the bull a run for its money and changing the narrative in a powerful way.

The Fearless Girl statue was placed by McCann ad agency for their client, State Street Global Advisors on the eve of International Women’s Day. She stands boldly facing the Charging Bull, daring him to challenge her. On the base of the four foot statue, a plaque reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.”

State Street’s new campaign also challenges more than 3,500 of the companies it invests in to increase the number of women on their corporate boards. The move is sending a message to its members and to other businesses on the importance of diversity in the workplace.

The results of women in leadership positions has proven valuable to companies of all sizes. According to a study by Peterson Institute for International Economics, research suggests that “having a woman in an executive position leads to better performance, with the more women the better.” And while one female CEO won’t move the needle, having diversity throughout the organization makes a company more competitive and successful.

Sheryl Sandberg, The COO of Facebook told NPR back in 2013, “We’ve ceased making progress at the top in any industry anywhere in the world … In the United States, women have had 14% of the top corporate jobs and 17% of the board seats for 10 years. Ten years of no progress. In those same 10 years, women are getting more and more of the graduate degrees, more and more of the undergraduate degrees, and it’s translating into more women in entry-level jobs, even more women in lower-level management. But there’s absolutely been no progress at the top. You can’t explain away 10 years. Ten years of no progress is no progress.” Though there a multitude of factors to consider, the fact remains it is harder for women to advance to the very top levels within an organization. This needs to change.

Kristin Visbal, who created the statue, told the Wall Street Journal she views “it as a piece that every woman can and should relate to. The bull is symbolic of every issue coming down the pike, that they can stand firm and hold their ground and deal with it.” The sculpture many be small in stature, the symbolism of courage in the face of adversity is not lost on those who see it.

Though the statue was originally meant to only grace the streets of New York for a week, we certainly hope she’s here to stay.

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