The financial firm behind Fearless Girl, the bronze statue controversially installed on Wall Street opposite Charging Bull as a symbol supporting gender equality, has paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that 300 women and 15 black employees were paid less than their white and male peers.
According to a US federal audit, State Street Corporation, the parent company of financial firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), which orchestrated the Fearless Girl campaign with advertising corporation McCann, discriminated against senior-level employees. State Street denies wrongdoing, Bloomberg has reported.
Fearless Girl was an immediate viral success on social media, riding the wave of feminist sentiment from the post-inauguration Women’s March when it was installed on March 8, International Women’s Day. But the motives behind the statue soon came into question.
The sculpture was initially accompanied by a plaque that read “KNOW THE POWER OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP/SHE MAKES A DIFFERENCE.” The “SHE” in question, however, turned out not to be the diminutive girl facing down the big bad bull, but the SSGA Gender Diversity Index, an exchange-traded fund that bears the ticker symbol “SHE.” The plaque was later removed following backlash alleging that Fearless Girl was a calculated ad, not the inspirational artwork it had first seemed. Read more