Kristen Visbal, "Fearless Girl" (2017) (photo by Business Wire, courtesy State Street Global Advisors)

Kristen Visbal, “Fearless Girl” (2017) (photo by Business Wire, courtesy State Street Global Advisors)

On Tuesday, in anticipation of today’s #ADayWithoutAWoman strike to coincide with International Women’s Day, the Boston-based financial services firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) installed a sculpture of a young girl facing the iconic Wall Street Bull in New York’s Financial District. The bronze sculpture, titled “Fearless Girl” and created by Delaware-based sculptor Kristen Visbal, is part of a publicity campaign developed by advertising giant McCann New York to call attention to SSGA’s public call urging companies it works with to put more women in leadership positions and on their corporate boards.

“A key contributor to effective independent board leadership is diversity of thought, which requires directors with different skills, backgrounds and expertise,” SSGA’s President and CEO, Ron O’Hanley, said in a statement. “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.”

Meanwhile, of the 28 people of SSGA’s “Leadership Team,” only five (or 18%) are women. Eleven people sit on the company’s board of directors, three of whom (or 27%) are women.

A plaque at the feet of “Fearless Girl,” branded with the SSGA logo, reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” The sculpture, which appears to be of a young white girl, will reportedly remain installed alongside Arturo Di Modica’s “Charging Bull” at least through the end of the month (though a Google Maps pin for “Fearless Girl” lists a March 19 end date). Judging by Instagram, the sculpture has already become wildly popular, with visitors posing alongside it or adorning it with Pussyhats and red accessories, or imitating its defiant pose. The sculpture’s silhouette facing “Charging Bull” also echoes the famous Occupy Wall Street image of a dancer posing atop the bovine sculpture, though here the woman is now a girl and in the way of the charging bull.

#FearlessGirl #InternationalWomensDay ❣️

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Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

One reply on “Financial Firm Plants Statue in Front of Wall Street Bull for International Women’s Day”

  1. yes…what fine promotion – rights = money. If you like standingon a chair yelling your ID at people, then, maybe not, but otherwise. The very right to survive = financial rights and powers and pathways for women. Way too many of us still feel there will be reprisal if we self-direct to financial success…and they are right , somehow! So YES this is good.

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