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Fearless Girl on Wall Street

You’re walking around downtown New York City; you stop by the infamous Wall Street Bull, except this time, you notice something is different about the statue.

Sure, the crowds of people that are usually there are still there, but they might just be a little bigger and more hectic. Suddenly you realize the reason why: There is a statue of a little girl, hands on hips, defiantly staring down the Bull. She’s fearless in his presence, but still, why is she there?

The Atlantic offers us an answer to this question: “On the eve of International Women’s Day last Tuesday, [March 8], State Street Global Advisors, which manages some $2.5 trillion in assets, signaled its solidarity with the day’s demonstrators.” The company commissioned the statue, which stands about 50 inches tall, and was designed by artist Kristen Vibal. The statue is titled, “Fearless Girl.”

The article goes on to explain that the Girl is not just a symbol without substance, but has a powerful meaning: “Fearless Girl is part of State Street’s campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards. The firm followed up the installation with a letter to the thousands of companies that comprise the Russell 3000 index on Tuesday asking them to take action to increase the diversity on their boards.”

While Fearless Girl is not a permanent fixture on Wall Street (she was only intended to be there for a week), she has garnered so much attention that people are signing a petition to make her a permanent fixture next to the Bull. Fortune states, “More than 8,000 people have signed an online petition Friday [March 10] that urges the city’s mayor to let the latest bronze statue stay in the center of the world’s financial capital.”

As a result, New York City’s Parks Department has been in touch with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, and,  according to a spokeswoman for the mayor, the statue has been granted an extended permit lasting until April 2, 2017.

It is always important to have people who are willing to make grand gestures and to speak out in order to keep the wheel of progress moving forward. It’s also important that the business world realizes it needs to be more diverse, inclusive, and have more women running and acting as members of its boards.

Hopefully, Fearless Girl is the inspiration, the hope, and the message that we all need to keep going on and defiantly facing the bulls in our own lives, working to make our world a better, more diverse, and equal place for all people.

Would you like for Fearless Girl to become a permanent installation? If so, add your voice to the petition and movement here!

Featured Image by Sam valadi on Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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