New Statue Challenges Wall Street's Charging Bull

People look at a statue of a girl facing the Wall St. Bull in the financial district of New York

People look at a statue of a girl facing the Wall St. Bull in the financial district of New York

Early on Tuesday morning, State Street Global Advisors installed a statue of a defiant girl, with hands on her hips, chin high and pony tail out, in front of the charging bull.

Kristen Visbal, the statue's sculptor, told the Wall Street Journal she considered having the girl charging the bull, but instead decided to make them simply face one another.

The statue was installed to celebrate International Women's Day on Wednesday, and is part of the money manager's campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards.

USA money manager State Street said Wednesday it is going to start putting real pressure on the 3,500 companies it invests in to put more women in charge - or they'll put their money where their mouth is and leave.

A new bronze statue cropped up in Lower East Manhattan on the eve of International Women's Day.

Leading into 2017, 70% startups in the USA had no women on their board and 54% had no women in executive positions.The survey also revealed that fundraising is more challenging for startups founded by women as opposed to those where founders are male.

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The bull, sculpted by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica, was initially taken down after he quietly placed it in front of the New York Stock Exchange in December 1989.

Jill Mavro, head of strategic relationship group at State Street Global Advisors, says: "It's time to improve gender diversity in corporate America".

SSGA's initiative to improve gender diversity in the company boards it invests in is founded on practical data, as a 2015 study conducted by the company itself shows that companies with strong female leadership perform better than their male-dominated counterparts.

The result of two sketches, nine revisions and multiple conference calls, Fearless Girl was modeled and cast in two months, a process which typically takes between six and eight months.

Unlike the bull, Fearless Girl will only last for a week. The fund invests in USA large-capitalization companies that rank among the highest in their sector in achieving gender diversity across senior leadership.

The bronze statue, called The Fearless Girl, was created by artist Kristen Visbal and modeled after a nine-year-old Latina girl, the daughter of a friend. The young girl says soft and sensitive equals strong and capable, she said. The symbolic statue also addresses the gender gap and places a focus on strengthening the next generation.

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