Firm That Commissioned 'Fearless Girl' Underpaid Women for Years, Settles for $5 Million

Posted: Oct 06, 2017 8:45 AM

State Street Corp., which is the bank that paid for the "Fearless Girl" statue in New York City, has settled with more than 300 women and will pay about $5 million for...gender discrimination. Allegedly, State Street Corp. regularly paid female employees less than what it paid male employees, although it denies this. The Department of Labor claims that these practices have been going on since at least 2010. 

The Labor Department alleged that women in senior leadership positions at Boston-based State Street received lower base salaries, bonus pay and total compensation since at least December 2010. The company said it has cooperated fully with the agency and that it disagreed with the findings of the audit, which was done in 2012.

State Street insists that they did nothing wrong and do not have discriminatory practices.

"Fearless Girl," which was intended to be a temporary piece, was installed on March 7, 2017 (the eve of International Women's Day) in front of the "Charging Bull" statue in Manhattan. (The statue will stay up until at least February 2018.) Beneath the statue is a plaque reading "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference." "SHE" is State Street's NASDAQ symbol.  

In a somewhat amusing twist, the statue was created to "send a message about gender diversity in the workplace." The artist behind the "Charging Bull" said that the presence of "Fearless Girl" changed the meaning behind his art, which was installed in 1989.

The irony here is rich, of course. The statue is basically a piece of marketing for a firm in disguise as guerrilla art. Now to find out that State Street doesn't even practice what it preaches? Yikes.