Boston’s State Street Installs “Fearless Girl” Statue on Wall Street

It made its debut as women are demonstrating around the country.

Boston’s State Street Corporation is celebrating International Women’s Day with a mascot for the striking women everywhere: a statue of a “fearless girl” on Wall Street.

The bronze figure by sculptor Kristen Visbal, which is staring down the legendary bronze bull that has graced the legendary New York City thoroughfare since 1989, will stay there for a month as part of a campaign to get more women in corporate leadership positions.

“This International Women’s Day, we created a symbol of female leadership for today and tomorrow,” reads text that appears in a video announcing the statue. “And put her somewhere no one could ignore.”

The statue emerged as women in Boston and around the country participate in a general strike called “A Day Without Women,” choosing not to go to work or shop for the day, with exceptions for small or women-owned businesses. The demonstration is a response to the election of President Donald Trump, and it’s about inequality. And in financial sector in particular, there is plenty to make noise about.

“As a 21-year veteran of the financial services industry and Head of the Strategic Relationship Group for SPDR® ETFs, I’ve had the privilege of attending countless industry events and conferences over the years,” writes Jill Mavro on State Street’s blog. “These events bring a range of talented executives together to share ideas and inspire change. Yet, I’m often struck by the lack of women in attendance, with men generally outnumbering women by a wide margin.

“It’s time to improve gender diversity in corporate America. Promoting leadership opportunities for women in financial services, and all industries, provides companies with new perspectives and approaches that may lead to better business results.”

State Street says it is pressuring the companies it invests in to add more women to their boards. It also touted indexes it announced last year that allow investors to park their money with firms at which women are best represented. State Street contends—and it made this case in a series of tweets yesterday and today—that diverse leadership is good for business.