Monday , January 18 2021

Fearless Girl statue gets a new home – staring down the N.Y. Stock Exchange

The Fearless Girl is making it stand outside the very temple of American capitalism.

The hands-on-her-hips statue that spent most of the past two years staring down Wall Street's Charging Bull sculpture, becoming a symbol of feminine empowerment, was unveiled Monday at her new permanent home in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

"We're honored to welcomeFearless Girl it's the very spot that has captured the minds of business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, "Betty Liu, executive vice president of the stock exchange, said at a ceremony to reintroduce the 4-foot-high statue. here at the New York Stock Exchange. "

Having a young girl in a place of great male dominance and power is appealing because right now it seems to me that women are still invisible.– Setha Low, City University of New York

The statue was commissioned by Boston-based investment fund State Street Global Advisors as a way to push for more women on corporate boards. It was originally positioned across the Charging Bull, he was a traffic island near the tip of Manhattan, but was removed last month, partly because the admiring crowds around the sculptures were creating a hazard.

Fearless Girl originally stood across from the Charging Bull statue in New York's financial district. (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

The bull will eventually rejoin Fearless Girlnear the stock exchange, but no date for the move has been given.

State Street CEO Cyrus Taraporevala said the companies with female directors on their boards "tend to be better managed."

"So for us, advocating for gender diversity is not part of a political agenda, it's about our long-term performance agenda, that's about value, not values," he said.

Taraporevala said 301 companies that State Street identified as having no women on their boards have added at least one since Fearless Girl made her debut in March 2017. State Street's own 11-member board has three women, according to its website.

The statue was originally intended as a temporary display but quickly gained a fan base amongst tourists and locals who lined up to pose for photos with her.

Shriya Gupta of Cherokee, N.C., strikes and pose with Fearless Girl. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)

"She really captivated all New Yorkers," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and Manhattan Democrat. "New Yorkers really did not want to see her go."

Now, Maloney said, "instead of staring down the bull, she's going to be staring all the business right here in the center and capital of business for America."

Visitors to the stock exchange area said they were glad to see Fearless Girl there.

"She's out for battle," said New Yorker Theresa Smith, 45. "She's going out for the big stuff. When you think of the stock market, we're talking money, we're talking to New York City, we're talking capital, and she's headed to the top and she's on her way. "

Cities grappling with monuments

The reinstallation of Fearless Girl comes as New York, like other U.S. cities, is grappling with questions of whether its monuments are truly representative.

There are only five statues of real historical women in public places in the city; officials announced last month that a monument to pioneering congresswoman Shirley Chisholm will be the sixth.

"Having a young girl in a place of great male dominance and power is appealing because right now it seems to me that women are still invisible," said Setha Low, a professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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