A Statue of Small Girl Suddenly Appeared on Wall Street and Is Making a Big Statement
The Wall Street Charging Bull, located in New York’s Financial District, has been described as a “symbol of virility and courage.” But as of Wednesday morning, the iconic three-ton bronze sculpture has a new foe, and she’s confronting this patriarchal symbol with nothing more than a glare.
Defiant, poised, hands on her hips, the young girl stares down the charging bull in a new statue aimed at bring attention to the woeful underrepresentation of women in finance.
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Funded by State Street Global Advisors, the statue was installed overnight by artist Kristen Visbal, and takes the form of a 9-year-old Latina girl.
“Wall Street is a traditionally male environment and it says, ‘Hey, we’re here,’” Visbal told the Wall Street Journal. “To me, it says a woman can be delicate and petite, but strong.”
Women represent less than 10% of financial fund managers in the United States, according to a study by Morningstar.
Globally, women are also vastly underrepresented in finance. A study from Catalyst found that less than 15% of board seats at more than 3,000 global companies were held by women.
Finance is not the only field that suffers from this lack of female representation. Fewer than one in 10 movies were directed by women in 2015. Women represented less than 30% of all scientists and engineers in the United States.
Representation of women in politics is also severely lacking — with roughly one in five seats in both the House and Senate held by women. The numbers are similar for female mayors, state executives, and state legislators nationwide.
In an attempt to address gender disparities in finance, State Street Global Advisors plans to “pressure 3,500 companies worth $30 trillion in market cap to aim for gender parity on their boards,” Fortune reports.
But for now, the “Fearless Girl,” as the statue is called, will stand for at least a month as the embodiment of this fight. And she’s not taking any more bull.