Kristen Visbal’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue defies Wall Street’s bull to promote women in business

March 8, 2017

Early Tuesday morning a bronze statue of a young girl in high tops, face defiant, hands firmly on her hips, was placed in front of the iconic charging bull statue in lower Manhattan’s Bowling Green park. The statue, created by artist Kristen Visbal, was installed by international asset management company State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) to bring attention to the need for more women on corporate boards–and for more female business leaders in general.

The world’s third largest asset management company said it would vote against a company’s board if the company failed to make efforts to increase the number of female board members. The statue appeared just ahead of Wednesday’s International Women’s Day, and will remain firmly in defiance of the current lack of gender diversity in business for at least a week. A plaque at the statue’s feet reads, “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.”

According to a 2016 Bloomberg View report titled, “Where Are the Women in Finance,” women hold 20 percent of the board seats at the largest companies, up from 15 percent a decade prior. Cited is a 2015 Morningstar study which found that

Less than 10% of all U.S. fund managers are women; women exclusively run about 2% of the industry’s assets and open-end funds. By contrast, men exclusively run about 74% of the industry’s assets and 78% of funds, with mixed-gender teams accounting for the balance.

So how does SSGA, a unit within State Street Corporation with investments totaling almost $2.5 trillion, stack up in the female leadership department? Though their CEO is a man, there are five women on their 28-person senior leadership team, which at 18 percent is just a hair below the average noted above. The Boston-based State Street Corp. board of directors, also headed by a man, has three female members, which is 27 percent of the board.

[Via DNA info]


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