Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a member today »

Kristen Visbal’s “Fearless Girl” (photo by Anthony Quintano/Flickr)

The financial firm that created Wall Street’s instantly iconic “Fearless Girl” statue has agreed to pay $5 million to more than 300 female and 15 black employees in senior positions that it paid less than their white male colleagues.

The settlement between the US Department of Labor and Boston-based State Street Global Advisors stems from a 2012 audit in which the government agency reported that female employees in senior roles received lower salaries, bonuses, and overall compensation than their male equals, Bloomberg reported. According to the audit, 15 black employees at the vice-president level were similarly underpaid, Adweek reported. State Street disputed those findings, but nevertheless decided to settle according to an agreement released this week.

Kristen Visbal’s “Fearless Girl” (photo by Shinya Suzuki/Flickr)

Though the settlement, according to the terms of the agreement, “does not constitute an admission or denial by State Street of any violation,” according to Bloomberg the company also typically votes against shareholder proposals related to gender pay.

When “Fearless Girl” (which was almost a “Wall Street Cow”) was unveiled on the eve of International Women’s Day in March of this year, State Street made a point of calling on Wall Street companies to put more women in leadership positions and on corporate boards. At the time, its own “Leadership Team” was 82% male and its board of directors was 73% male.

According to the settlement agreement, State Street will compensate the more than 300 employees for a total of $4,492,174.39 in back pay and $507,825.61 in interest.

Support Hyperallergic

As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever. 

Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.

Become a Member

Benjamin Sutton

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...