State Street Global Advisors installed a bronze statue of a defiant girl facing off against the famous charging bull statue on Wall Street. Why did they do it? Get the full story right here.
State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager and a nearly $2.5 trillion investor, installed a bronze statue of a strong young girl in front of Wall Street’s iconic charging bull statue in support of International Women’s Day. The campaign is promoting the hiring of women to company boards.
State Street Global Advisors has said it will vote against boards if a company does not actively attempt to up its numbers of female members. The money manager sent a letter to 3,5000 companies on Tuesday outlining their goals of improve female representation in the corporate world.
The company has highlighted gender diversity as a core tactic to improve performance and increase shareholder value. Female membership on corporate boards has long been an issue as data shows that some boards see no reason to address the disparity in gender representation.
State Street’s deputy global chief investment officer Lori Heinel had this to say after the statue’s installment: “There has been a lot of discussion on this topic, but the needle hasn’t moved materially.”
Heinel continued that State Street wants every company it’s targeting to have at least one female board member in an attempt to fix the gender gap.
“We’re not going to always automatically vote against the company, but we want to make sure there are tangible, concrete measures they are taking,” Heinel said.
State Street used the statue as a means to shine a spotlight on the problem. As of now, almost 25% of the Russell 3000 have no women on their board, Heinel said.
“One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the charging bull. So the idea of having a female sort of stand against the bull or stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever but also creative and engaging way to make that statement,” Heinel said. “Even though it’s a little girl, her stance is one of determination, forwardness, and being willing to challenge and take on the status quo.”
Who Is State Street Global Advisors?
The massive company is the world’s third-largest asset manager and a $2.5 trillion investor in the financial world. The company sports a particular emphasis on index fund world, managing about 90% of its assets in passive funds, which are commonly investing in companies held in the Russell 3000 and FTSE.
State Street was founded in 1978 by Scott F. Powers. The company currently has upwards of 2,500 employees.