The Idea behind the Fearless Girl
With women empowerment as the intended purpose, a Wall Street firm called State Street Global Advisors gave birth to the idea of ‘Fearless Girl’. The seemingly simple concept manifested itself in the form of a bronze statue of a daring young girl facing the iconic Charging Bull Statue in the financial district of Manhattan, New York City. The statue called for increased representation of women in the boards of companies. Further, State Street Global Advisors even had statistics to justify their creation. In the firm’s own words, ‘Fearless Girl’ was born on 8th March 2017 (International Women’s Day) as a symbol of female leadership for today and tomorrow. Alongside the statue’s creation, a digital promotional video detailing on the statue’s inauguration also made its way to the internet. It was created by the Interpublic Group’s McCann.
It didn’t take long for the Fearless Girl to catch the public eye. With the creation of a dedicated fund that rewarded companies with higher female leadership, SSGA paved the way for its female-centric activism. With major news channels like MSNBC, Channel 2, CBS New York, and many more covering the phenomenon that ‘Fearless Girl’ had become in a short time, subsequent milestones paved way for themselves. Within 12 weeks, the little bronze girl of Manhattan conjured 4.6 Twitter impressions, 745 million Instagram impressions, and the unique status quo of being 1 out of the 6 statues in New York dedicated to women. The fact that even Mayor Bill De Blasio championed for the ‘Fearless Girl’ further added to its recognized status as an iconic symbol of women empowerment. The massive bubble of recognition encompassing SSGA’s Wall Street statue eventually turned into a change.org campaign. The petition to make the Fearless Girl permanent ended up amassing way more than the required number of signatures.
Every major online publication in New York complimented the ideal that lives as the core of the ‘Fearless Girl’. Some of the big names that endorsed SSGA’s symbol of girl power include Forbes, CNN, Vogue, Le Monde, The Times, Handelsblatt, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, and USA Today. With it being more than a year since the inauguration of the bronze statue, statistical figures detailing about its impact have surfaced on various sources. The investment firm behind the birth of the girl without fear claims that 152 companies have added women to their all-male boards over the course of a year. However, a broader view of the performance of SSGA’s activism can be obtained from the fact that out of a total of 750 companies that were called on, 511 remained untethered. Apart from the 152 publicly-traded companies showcasing visible results, 34 agreed to work on improving their workplace gender diversity. On the other end of the pool, the well-intentioned face of the ‘Fearless Girl’ has also been subjected to some harsh criticism. Those most critical of the initiative have flat-out branded it as an act of “corporate feminism”. Some have even termed SSGA’s goal of creating more female leadership in Wall Street tyrannical. SSGA was further labeled a hypocritical entity for the existence of pay-biases based on gender in its own house. However, one of the company vice-presidents, Lynn Blake, discredited with the methodology of the findings. In short, the idea behind the Fearless Girl made its way into the hearts of the public and acted as a source of strength for women all over New York City. How things played out inside the closed doors of various institutions on Wall Street is yet another story; one with a translucent ending.
For more than one year, the Fearless girl has marked its righteous place on Wall Street, right next to the iconic Charging Bull. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that both the statues will experience relocation by the end of 2018. As the New York Times said in their coverage of the ‘Fearless Girl’ story, she reminds you that while marching is important, sometimes you can make a difference by standing still. Apparently, the image still sits well in the minds of New Yorkers.
The Fearless Girl is scheduled to move to a new home, but nonetheless, she’s here to stay!
This article is about:
International Women’s Day, State Street Global Advisors, Fearless Girl, Wall Street, Outdoor, United States, Public Interest, NGO, Women’s Day campaigns, McCann, New York, Charging Bull, Grand Prix award, Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, McCann Worldgroup, Women’s Equality, Gender Equality, Cannes Lions, Onground campaign, Best outdoor campaigns, Creativity, Inspiring