The fearless girl of Wall Street at the center of the controversy

the sculpture of the girl without fear is an icon that expresses courage, calling for more women in the financial center of Wall Street and one of New York’s most popular tourist attractions. However, around her figure a real political and social war was unleashed that could end with her retirement.

Rafael Mingorance, author of New York live newspaperexplains in this video the controversies unleashed around the sculpture.

Text by Rafa Mingorance:

International Women’s Day is born

Her hands on her hips remind the financial world that the presence of women on corporate boards must be increased.

It came by surprise on March 8, International Women’s Day. It was a bronze sculpture of a girl in front of the Wall Street bull. Her defiant face and hands on hips remind the financial world that the presence of women on corporate boards must be increased. Doing so would mean recognizing female leadership in the face of machismo that, even today, continues to exist in the business world. Since it was installed in 2017, the work is known around the world as the girl without fear and arose from an initiative by the financial State Street Global Advisors and the sculptor, of Uruguayan origin, Kristen Visbal. The sculpture weighs 113 kilograms and measures 121 centimeters. As Visbal explained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, to model her figure she was inspired by a friend’s 7-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old Latina girl. Today the work can be seen in front of the New York Stock Exchange and will remain there. , at least until 2024, when the Commission for the Preservation of Historic Monuments will decide whether to remove it or allow it to remain forever.

Reviews: a marketing stunt?

the statue of the girl without fear It’s a viral phenomenon. There are many women who do selfie with her and then post the images on her social networks. Actress Jessica Chastain and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, defended the sculpture and asked to keep it forever on the streets as part of New York’s street furniture. But not everything is praise. There are also those who criticize the work for saying that it is an act of “corporate feminism” and a “marketing stunt”.

Corporate “Hypocrisy”

Of the 28 leadership positions the company held in 2017, only five were women

Which State Street Global Consultants did with the girl without fear was to send a clear message to corporate America: It’s time for boards to be more diverse and include more women. But was the company itself consistent with that message? The answer is no. An article published in The New York Times in March 2017 stated that of the 28 leadership positions the company had, only five were women. In fact, State Street Corporation, parent company of State Street Global Advisors, agreed to pay $5 million to settle the claims of 305 female executives who earned less than men in the same senior positions. In the settlement, US Department of Labor officials also alleged that State Street discriminated against 15 African-American vice presidents. For years, they were paid less money than white employees who did the same job.

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The war between artists: the bull against the girl

I atea girl without fear ahead, the bull has become the worst representing economic power in the hands of men

But finance is not the only one involved in the controversy. ‘Fearless Girl’ author Kristen Visbal, too. The sculptor of the Wall Street bull, the artist Arturo Dimodica, launched a legal battle against New York City to demand that the girl’s statue be removed. The sculptor, of Sicilian origin, claimed that it was just a publicity stunt that changed the meaning of his work. According to Di Modica, his sculpture is a symbol of prosperity and strength. I atea girl without fear ahead, the bull became the worst thing that represents economic power in the hands of men.

Illegal Copies of “The Girl Without Fear”

And it’s not the only dispute that Kristen Visbal keeps open. He is also facing State Street for trademark and copyright infringement. In 2019, the company sued Kristen Visbal, alleging breach of contract. According to the finance department’s legal department, the sculptor had sold copies of The girl without your consent and this circumstance caused irreparable damage. In turn, Visbal has filed a counterclaim alleging that State Street wants to prevent the spread of the gender equality message that his work represents. The sculptor says she has already spent about $2.7 million in legal fees, money she took from copying receipts. The fearless girl.

Your future is unclear beyond 2024

the girl without fear represents a new type of public monument that began in the form of an advertising campaign carried out by a private company. And that sets a precedent for how corporate power spreads through public space with its commercial works.

Today the sculpture is a global icon, but its future is still unclear beyond 2024. Its fate depends on members of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, a group appointed by the mayor of New York, charged with overseeing the art collection that lives on the streets of New York. City. In addition to the icon, the girl without fear represents a new type of public monument that began in the form of an advertising campaign carried out by a private company. And that sets a precedent for how corporate power spreads through public space with its commercial works. At least, that’s what its detractors claim. Regardless of whether or not the fearless girl remains at the head of the New York Stock Exchange, she has already left her mark on history. Many women identify with it because it expresses an injustice that remains uncorrected. According to UN, Women around the world could increase their earnings by up to 76% if the gap in job participation and the existing wage gap between women and men disappeared. This is estimated to have an impact on the global economy of nearly $17 trillion.

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