Fearless Girl statue firm faced down in equal pay row

Fearless Girl statue firm faced down in equal pay row

Fearless Girl statue firm faced down in equal pay row

The State Street Corporation, a financial services company that put the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street to promote the importance of women working in corporate leadership roles, will pay $5 million after an investigation found that it underpaid female and black executives.

Female vice presidents, senior vice presidents and managing directors at State Street were routinely paid less in salaries and bonuses, according to the audit. 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.

The firm denies the allegations, and said in a statement that 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".

This year, a subsidiary of the Boston-based firm famously commissioned a 50-inch bronze statue, the "Fearless Girl", to face off against Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull, as part of an advertisement campaign on National Women's Day.

The "Fearless Girl" statue which stands in front of Wall Street's charging bull statue is seen in NY, U.S., March 15, 2017. The goal, according to a statement from Ron O'Hanley, the company's President and CEO, is to call on "The more than 3,500 companies that SSGA invests on behalf of clients, representing more than $30 trillion in market capitalization to take intentional steps to increase the number of women on their corporate boards".

Large corporations lag behind in gender diversity: one in four of the 3,000 largest publicly traded USA companies do not a woman on their boards, and almost 60 percent of boards are at least 85 percent male.

State Street agreed to pay the settlement, but still disputes the discrimination findings.

The statue has also been criticized by the sculptor of the Charging Bull statue, who said the four-foot girl altered the meaning of his creation.

Standing at just over four feet tall, the statue of a girl with her hands on her hips and chin jutting out created a stir when it was installed in March this year. State Street said the statue was meant to promote "gender diversity in corporate leadership roles".

State Street's board, while more diverse than most, is still far from ideal.

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