There is this famous statue of a charging bull in the financial district of New York. You have probably seen it. It has been shown in countless movies or tv shows. Today the bull got a little addition in form of a small defiant girl in an unflinching pose facing the bull head on.
The world’s third largest asset manager, State Street Global Advisors, installed the bronze statue as part of its new campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards. The investor worth nearly $2.5 trillion in assets rolled out the campaign ahead of International Woman’s Day. State Street Global Advisors stated that they will vote against boards if a company fails to take action to increase the number of women members of their boards. The company will also send out a formal letter to 3500 companies asking them to act.
“One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the charging bull. 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 but also creative and engaging way to make that statement,” State Street’s deputy global chief investment officer Lori Heinel said. “Even though it’s a little girl, her stance is one of determination, forwardness, and being willing to challenge and take on the status quo.”
The statue was made by Delaware based bronze sculptor Kristen Visbal and will remain for at least a month in its place, continuing to defy the charging bull of Wall Street. The artwork is aimed at boards of companies but surely it speaks more broadly as a symbol for women’s rights and empowerment within society as a whole.