‘Fearless Girl’ faces down Charging Bull to promote women in business on International Women’s Day

Photo by Milo Hess The sculpture, called “The Fearless Girl,” by artist Kristen Visbal was placed at the northern tip of Bowling Green facing down the iconic “Charging Bull” late Tuesday, on the eve of International Women’s Day, as part of a campaign by finance company State Street Corporation to promote women in leadership in the financial sector.

Photo by Milo Hess
The sculpture, called “The Fearless Girl,” by artist Kristen Visbal was placed at the northern tip of Bowling Green facing down the iconic “Charging Bull” late Tuesday, on the eve of International Women’s Day, as part of a campaign by finance company State Street Corporation to promote women in leadership in the financial sector.

BY COLIN MIXSON

This girl’s not putting up with any of your bull.

A Wall Street firm celebrated International Women’s Day by installing a bronze statue of a defiant young girl facing off with the iconic Charging Bull at Bowling Green on March 8.

Venerable financial services firm State Street Corporation sponsored the statue, called “The Fearless Girl,” as a reminder for large businesses to diversify their boards and give more women a greater voice in company leadership, according to State Street spokeswoman Anne McNally.

“We placed the statue there as a symbol for the need for gender diversity in corporate America, across corporate boards, senior leadership, and organizational ranks,” McNally said.

Towards that end, State Street plans on backing up its call to action with the full weight of its $2.45 trillion in managed assets, and leveraging its stock in some 3.500 businesses to sway board members there to alter business practices to promote women in the workplace, McNally said.

Photo by Milo Hess Onlookers couldn’t help crowning the sassy statue with a “pussy hat,” the two-pointed knitted cap that became a symbol of female defiance during the anti-Trump women’s marches that swept the nation the day after the Inauguration.

Photo by Milo Hess
Onlookers couldn’t help crowning the sassy statue with a “pussy hat,” the two-pointed knitted cap that became a symbol of female defiance during the anti-Trump women’s marches that swept the nation the day after the Inauguration.

“What we’re saying to them with this statue is, you have to increase the gender diversity on your board and show us that’s what you’re doing, or we’ll use the power of our vote as a significant shareholder to oppose the decisions you’re making,” said McNally.

Meanwhile, crowds gathered throughout the day to pose for pictures with the sassy statue, while others were drawn there simply by the allure of a powerful symbol on a day dedicated to the empowerment of women.

“I purposely took my daughter there this morning before I jetted off to work, so I could be there on this day with her,” said Broad Street resident Elizabeth Siegel, who came to Bowling Green with her 17-month-old daughter Georgina. “It was meaningful to be there with her, wearing red, and to touch the statue on this day.”

The statue was set up on a temporary, week-long permit, but State Street lobbying the city to let it stay in place for the duration of Women’s History Month, McNally said.

But there’s groundswell brewing to make the Fearless Girl a permanent addition to Downtown’s streetscape — not unlike the Charging Bull, a once-temporary public art stunt which the city granted permanent residence after a wave of popular demand.

“I hope it stays indefinitely, just like the bull did,” said Siegel.

Downtown’s Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou is already calling for the city to make the statue permanent.

“In a short time, the Fearless Girl statue has managed to captivate the imagination of many, and it has motivated us to look past typical symbols of power, resilience, and courage. That is why I am calling for the City to explore the permanent placement of the statue at its current location,” Niou said in a statement Thursday. “I welcome Fearless Girl to lower Manhattan, and I look forward to working with the community towards keeping her in her current home.”

Photo by Milo Hess The statue was instant selfie-bait, of course.

Photo by Milo Hess
The statue was instant selfie-bait, of course.

 

Photo by Milo Hess Local schoolkids came out to meet their new neighbor.

Photo by Milo Hess
Local schoolkids came out to meet their new neighbor.

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One Response to ‘Fearless Girl’ faces down Charging Bull to promote women in business on International Women’s Day

  1. I love these pictures so much of the Fearless Girl and the article was wonderful. I’m 75 years old and have never had anything touch me like these pictures and article did. Just want to say you guys did a wonderful job and should be very proud of your work. I believe a gentleman named Milo Hess and Colin Mixson plus others worked on this….beautifully done. Could someone get in touch with me as to how I might get copies of these pictures, very much appreciate your help. Thank you, Drema Sutton

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