The Fearless Girl Is Good for Business
It turns out having the world’s most talked about statue, and being linked to a symbol of big money’s role in promoting gender equality, has been good for State Street.
The Boston-based firm’s sponsorship of the much-discussed Fearless Girl statue staring down Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull has led to a big boost in its first quarter over the same period last year, according to the Globe.
CEO Jay Hooley tells the paper they are “delighted by the response to Fearless Girl.”
The bronze girl was placed in the legendary location in March to coincide with International Women’s Day, and has quickly become an international sensation. It was, executives said, intended to serve as both a call to action for powerful firms to install more women in positions of power, and to advertise State Street’s SHE Index focused on companies with gender-diverse boards. The plaque in front of the statue’s feet reads “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” Get it?
It was only supposed to stay in place temporarily, but Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that it will be allowed to stay in its space for about another year. That move prompted a backlash from the maker of the bull statue across from which it stands. Arturo Di Modica has argued that the “Fearless Girl” muddles the meaning of his masterpiece and therefore constitutes copyright infringement. DeBlasio has spit fire in response, saying in a widely shared tweet, “Men who don’t like women taking up space are exactly why we need the Fearless Girl.”
Di Modica has called for more information about the extension of the statue’s permit to be released, and in his critique of the statue has called out State Street for fooling all of us with an “advertising trick.”
Whether you agree with him or not, State Street clients have got to be pleased about what the corporate-sponsored public art is doing for their bottom line.