The Powerful Statement Behind This Statue Of A Little Girl

Photo: Courtesy of Business Wire.
Update: The Fearless Girl statue will keep standing until at least February 2018, according to CNN.
"In her short time here, the Fearless Girl has fueled powerful conversations about women in leadership and inspired so many," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "Now, she'll be asserting herself and affirming her strength even after her temporary permit expires — a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit."
This story was originally published on March 8, 2017, at 10:20 a.m.
The famous Wall Street bull sculpture has a new companion — and she’s not backing down.
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A bronze statue of a defiant little girl was unveiled on Tuesday by State Street Global Advisors, the world's third-largest asset manager. The art installation, created by artist Kristen Visbal, is part of a new campaign calling for companies to add more women to their boards of directors. And appropriately, it was launched on the eve of 2017 International Women's Day.
"We believe good corporate governance is a function of strong, effective, and independent board leadership," Ron O’Hanley, president and chief executive officer of SSGA, said in a press release. "A key contributor to effective independent board leadership is diversity of thought, which requires directors with different skills, backgrounds, and expertise. Today, we are calling on companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards and have issued clear guidance to help them begin to take action."
Back in 2015, the 2020 Women on Boards Gender Diversity Index of Fortune 1000 companies found that women make up a meek 17.9% of the total number of corporate directors. This number is really, really small when you think about how women have made an impact on the U.S. economy: We make up about 47% of the workforce, we're behind 70% to 80% of purchases, and we hold over half of all management, professional, and related positions.
Like so many other parts of society, businesses are definitely a long way from achieving gender parity. But perhaps this new statue will put pressure on CEOs to hire more women and make them rethink why diversity is crucial — at all levels.
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And hey, at least we know that people on social media get it. They were quick to praise the art installation and recognize that this sculpture speaks louder than words. Now, it's time for the people at the top to listen and make changes.
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