- Real Estate
- Under Cover
- Special Editorial
- In Pictures
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.
“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.”