The financial services firm that commissioned Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” statue agreed to pay $5 million to settle federal allegations that it discriminated against female and black executives.
State Street Corporation paid female executives less in base pay, bonus pay and total compensation than men in the same positions, investigators concluded following a U.S. Department of Labor probe.
The $5 million settlement go towards a fund for 305 female executives and 15 black executives who were also paid less than white employees in the same position, the investigation found.
A spokeswoman for the company said Thursday that State Street disagrees with the analysis but opted to bring the six-year-old matter to a resolution and move forward.
In a statement, 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.”
State Street Corporation commissioned artist Kristen Visbal’s statue of a girl with her hands on her hips facing off against Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” statue in Manhattan’s Financial District.
State Street, one of the world’s largest asset management companies, said the statue was intended to “urge greater gender diversity on corporate boards” and the figure became a symbol of female empowerment, even as some questioned the corporation’s motives.
In an op-ed in the New York Times, writer Ginia Bellafante called the statue an “exercise in corporate imaging” as she pointed out that only five of the 28 members of the leadership team are women.
On International Women’s Day, the statue was outfitted with a pink “pussy hat”, which became a symbol of defiance against the Trump administration.
On social media, one man drew outrage when he “pretended to have sex” with the statue of the little girl, while others dressed her up as a Trump supporter with a “Make America Great Again” hat and signs with alt-right symbol Pepe the Frog and slogans that read “”VETS B4 ILLEGALS”.
With News Wire Services