Earlier this year, people in New York City’s Financial District were surprised to find a a little girl defiantly staring down Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull.

The bronze likeness of a 9-year-old Latina girl, known as the “Fearless Girl,” was funded by State Street Global Advisors, an investment management company. The firm reached a $5 million settlement this week, agreeing to pay 305 of its top female employees — who the Department of Labor found were paid less than men in equal positions — the difference of their salaries. 

The pay disparity was discovered during an audit in 2012, according to the BBC. The firm was also found to be paying 15 of its black vice presidents less than white employees in equal positions, the New York Times reported. Though State Street denies the allegations, they agreed to the settlement, and issued a statement affirming their commitment to gender and racial equality within their business.

The company said it is “committed to equal pay practices and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are nondiscriminatory,” The Associated Press reported.

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The “Fearless Girl” made her debut on International Women’s Day earlier this year. The statue was intended to celebrate “the power of women in leadership, and the potential of the next generation of women leaders,” the firm said.

Read more: A Statue of Small Girl Suddenly Appeared on Wall Street and Is Making a Big Statement

“Wall Street is a traditionally male environment,” the artist behind the statue, Kristen Visbal, told the Wall Street Journal. The statue “says a woman can be delicate and petite, but strong,” she added.

In light of the statement State Street Global Advisors intended to make by installing the “Fearless Girl” on Wall Street, the news of discrimination within the company has invited online criticism.


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