A new statue of a resolute young girl staring down Wall Street's famous Charging Bull was erected by a major asset managing firm for International Women's Day to make a point: There's a dearth of women on the boards of the largest USA corporations.
"We believe boards have an important role to play in increasing gender diversity and believe our guidance can help directors take action now", said Rakhi Kumar, head of corporate governance at SSGA.
The sculpture, which appears to be of a young white girl, will reportedly remain installed alongside Arturo Di Modica's "Charging Bull" at least through the end of the month (though a Google Maps pin for "Fearless Girl" lists a March 19 end date). SSGA President and CEO Ron O'Hanley urges fellow companies to take steps in actively increasing gender diversity. "It's a bucolic area, a flawless place for me to work", she said.
He continued that the positioning of the girl's statue versus the bull seemed like she was "willing to challenge and take on the status quo". The company said that one in four of the 3,000 largest traded USA companies don't have a single woman on their board.
Women across the globe are staying at home today from work, leading some schools to cancel classes, in a show of solidarity on International Women's Day. Put in place in honor of a day when women around the country went on strike to demonstrate the economic clout of American women, the statue makes a powerful statement about the importance of women in the workforce.
Possible contractions for April the giraffe
In Thursday night's update, the zoo also said April appears "a little more on edge" and is "not being as lovely as usual". For now, mom and son are getting time to bond in private, out of public view in the zoo's giraffe house.
International Women's Day has been marked on Wall Street with a stature of a young girl. "To me it says a woman can be delicate and petite, but strong".
The bull serves as a symbol of optimism, hope, and financial prosperity for Wall Street, and SHE makes a flawless addition to those same ideals.
"Better boards just make better decisions and drive company change in a more proactive way", she said.
Companies with strong female leadership generated 10.1% annual return on equity, compared with 7.4% for those without a "critical mass of women at the top", according to a 2015 McKinsey Global Institute report that State Street Global Advisors cited in its release.
State Street has three women on an 11-member board.