On Tuesday March 7th, the night before International Women’s Day, a miraculous thing happened on Wall Street. This was the arrival of “Fearless Girl,” an installation by Kristen Visbal of a four-foot tall, bronze, powerful little girl facing the iconic “Charging Bull” in Manhattan’s financial district.
Originally, the statue was only meant to be shown for a week. However, after a petition that demanded the statue become a permanent installation gained 8,000 signatures, the lifespan of the “Fearless Girl” was extended by one month. Now, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the “Fearless Girl” statue will remain in Bowling Green until International Women’s Day of 2018!
The statue was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors to be a part of the company’s campaign to pressure Wall Street companies to add more women to their boards. State Street itself has three women on its eleven-member board, according to its website. Studies show that companies with women in leadership positions perform better than those without women leaders. State Street stands behind this statistic and plans to send letters to 3,500 companies asking them to act on the issue of unequal representation.
The plaque that lies in front of “Fearless Girl” reads, “Know the power of women in leadership,” further reinforcing the message behind the installation.
The “Charging Bull” is an iconic image on Wall Street, and symbolizes the energy, strength, and unpredictability of the stock market. It is also naturally masculine, which, to some, may evoke the male-dominated environment of Wall Street.
“Fearless Girl” challenges this status quo. At four feet tall, with her hands on hips and a calm, defiant smile, “Fearless Girl” stares down the eleven-foot-tall, 7,500 pound “Charging Bull.” This imagery is enough to evoke emotions of women’s power, confidence, and, of course, fearlessness.
Although guerrilla artist Arturo Di Monica originally placed the statue without permission from the city, the decision of NYC authorities to keep the statue reinforces the idea that “Fearless Girl” fits the essence of Wall Street.
Stephen Tisdalle, State Street’s Chief Marketing Officer, said, “We thought [the statue] was the most tasteful, respectful, and effective way for us and others to participate in the national dialogue around International Women’s Day.”
When people see this statue, especially placed in front of the “Charging Bull,” they cannot help but be inspired. Children who see the statue, especially young girls around the same height as “Fearless Girl,” will understand that they can be just as confident, strong, and fearless as her.
If you want to add to the 13,000 signatures (and counting) on the petition to have “Fearless Girl” remain as a permanent installation, follow this link!
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