All people of Manhattan now have a new spot for taking endless pictures and selfies – the night before the International Women’s Day, a bronze statue of The Fearless Girl was dropped on Wall Street, facing the famous Charging Bull – a symbol of strength and power of Americans.

The Fearless Girl – a statue of an audacious little girl, hands on her hips, her dress fluttering as she confronts the bull with an incredibly confident and daring look in her eyes. Brought to Wall Street by McCann New York and its client State Street Global Advisors, the Girl was meant to be a symbol of female leadership on corporate boards and was prone to encourage companies to hire more women. This is primarily due to the findings that gender diversity drives companies’ financial performance towards continuous enhancement and inspires better decision-making.

 

According to Stephen Tisdalle, chief marketing officer of State Street, placing The Fearless Girl in New York’s financial district not only encourages the support of female leadership, but also makes responsible investing be viewed from both emotional and rational perspectives. And “emotional” can hardly be applicable to only financial matters: it is also about the inner connection that the Girl establishes with people the minute they see her.

I think there is something so relatable about a kid. I think you see yourself in her, but you also see your kids. You see the future, and you see your past,” – says Lizzie Wilson, senior art director at McCann.

Now Wall Street is flooded with people, copying the posture of the Fearless Girl, crowding around her and taking pictures. People love the location, love how courageously she stands in front of the bull, ready to face all the challenges coming to her. While the bull implicates the concept of power and strength to be mostly male – as it has long been perceived – The Fearless Girl wants to make people rethink the meaning of leadership and realize that women can be a strong point fulfilling their merited positions in companies, large and small.

“Know the power of women leadership”, says the plaque behind the Girl’s feet. As ABC News reports, women account for 47% of the U.S. workforce, and a lot of them are still asked to abstain from working. However, SHE, an exchange-trade-fund that invests with companies with women at corporate boards, has found out that companies, which promote gender-diverse teams, tend to be more profitable. With the appearance of The Fearless Girl, McCann and State Street wanted to change the perception of women as an important component of company’s success.

The creators did not want the Girl to be antagonistic, says Tali Gumbiner, senior copywriter at McCann. The statue’s posture was inspired by those grown women take when they are willing to show their power. Nevertheless, placing a statue of a women would not create such a bond with people – little girl would work much better, with her innocent and at the same time unflinching spirit. The Fearless Girl not only advocates confidence and self-assurance of today’s women: it was also created to inspire future female leaders.

Lizzie Wilson and Tali Gumbiner, McCann New York

The statue was initially allowed to stay for about a month, however now McCann and State Street are planning to ask for it to stay longer. The Fearless Girl received a lot of social media support from renowned people of America, and public advocate Letitia James even assisted in making the Girl a permanent installation by writing a letter to Bill De Blasio, mayor of the New York City. “Fearless Girl stands as a powerful beacon, showing women — young and old— that no dream is too big and no ceiling is too high,” – James wrote.

“We believe good corporate governance is a function of strong, effective and independent board leadership,” – said Ron O’Hanley, CEO of State Street Global Advisors, in his statement. “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.”

Subscribe to WM Daily. Be In Touch With Rebellious Voices