Financial Company Puts Up Statue of Girl Near Wall Street’s Charging Bull

A plaque below her reads "know the power of women in leadership"

Wall Street's iconic charging bull just got a new neighbor. 

A bronze statue of a young girl showed up near the bull Tuesday, ahead of the International Women’s Day Wednesday, according to reports. 

Artist Kristen Visbal's "Fearless Girl" statue is part of an effort to get companies to add more women to their boards. State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager, placed the statue as part of their campaign, Business Insider reports.

The money manager wants the companies it is spotting to have at least one woman on the board and to close gender gaps.

Alex Matthews

The bronze girl stands adjacent to the famous Wall Street statue, taking on a defiant pose as she stares down the bull. A plaque below her reads "know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference." 

Lori Heinel, State Street's deputy global chief investment officer, told Business Insider that the image of the girl standing in front of the bull is a creative way to send a powerful message. 

"One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the raging bull," Heinel told Business Insider. "So the idea of having a female sort of stand against the bull or stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever."

State Street will be sending out a letter 3,500 companies asking them to act and add more women. It said it will vote against boards if companies fail to carry out the steps to increase the number of women as board members, according to Business Insider. 

Interestingly, State Street's website shows that about 80 percent of its own management positions are staffed by men.

A spokeswoman for State Street Global Advisors says the company has set specific goals to increase diversity by the end of the year. 

"We know from past experience that meeting these targets will require commitment from the top, so measuring progress on diversity and inclusion is now a key part of our annual performance reviews for our senior managers," said Anne McNally.

The mammoth bronze Charging Bull was a "guerrilla art" act, dropped in the middle of the night in Bowling Green Park in 1989, without permission, by an artist who created it as a symbol of Americans' survival energy in the face of the 1987 stock market crash. The city gave its permission for the bull to remain.

This week, McCann New York, a top advertising agency, dropped off the statue of the girl - with a city permit for at least a week. Negotiations are underway for the piece to remain there longer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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