Images of the bronze statue of a defiant young girl in front of the iconic Wall Street bull quickly went viral.
State Street Global Advisors, which installed the statue, says it’s more than symbolic.
The $2.5 trillion asset manager will vote its shares to push for greater women’s representation in decision-making.
Nearly a quarter of the companies in the Russell 3000 index have no female directors. Most boards are at least 85 percent male. State Street, the world’s third largest money manager, says research shows that more women translates to better performance.
Ronald O’Hanley, State Street’s CEO, said companies can try to convince the firm that lack of diversity is not a problem. “Will they? I doubt it,” he said.
Follow-up. “Fearless Girl,” will continue to stare down Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” at least until next February. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said the statue “has fueled powerful conversations about women in leadership” (see, “State Street will vote to oust boards that don’t include women”). Nearly 29,000 people signed the Change.org petition calling for the bronze statue to remain permanently.
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Photo credit: MARK LENNIHAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS