Opinion

‘Fearless Girl’ Statue Proves Charging Bull Has Met its Match

Photo courtesy of Federica Valabrega

Following the stock market crash in 1987, The Charging Bull statue was installed on Wall Street in downtown New York City as a symbol of the strength and power of the American people.

And since the statue’s installation, New York City’s financial district continues to have a significant disparity between the men to women in management.

The power and strength of the American people hasn’t been equally represented on Wall Street. It’s no surprise to hear that male leadership has dominated Wall Street throughout history.

In 2017, 25 percent of the Russell 3000 — an index of U.S. companies — have no women on their boards, according to State Street Company, a financial services holding company that manages their assets.

Just 16 percent of board seats on companies in the Russell 3000 are held by women. The average board of directors has eight men and one woman, according to ISS Analytics, a management analytics and investment solutions company.

No matter their area of work, whether it’s inside or outside the home, women are a crucial contributing factor to the strength and power of the American people and deserve equal representation.

The State Street Global Advisors decided to bring the need for change on Wall Street to a national audience. The company wanted to create a call for more women to serve on corporate boards.

The Fearless Girl statue was placed in the financial district of New York City on March 8, which was also International Women’s Day.

Standing in a power pose, hands on hips, feet secure on the ground and head tilted upward, a bronze statue of a young girl faces the famous Charging Bull. The plaque in front of her reads, “Know the Power of Women in Leadership.”

Last week, I had the pleasure of being in New York, and I was fortunate enough to get a firsthand look at the statue. A crowd gathered around it, exuberating approval and liberation.

Women of all ages took their place next to the statue and posed confidently for a picture. Little girls stood with amusement and pride next to the statue that looked like them, while their mothers and fathers encouraged them to smile.

This statue is fostering a culture that is representative of American values of unity, equality and justice.

Other cities need to adopt this accepting culture in order to create a more diverse and fair environment. The use of public art, such as statues, throughout a city opens the conversation and works as a catalyst to change.

The square-off between the Fearless Girl and the bull is not only a tool to encourage the financial district to hire more women, but the Fearless Girl is also symbolic of women making their mark on Wall Street.

The statue gives women and girls, regardless of age, the ability to feel deeply empowered by its message.

At some point in life, there will be a “charging bull” standing between them and what they deserve or dream of, but they must find the strength to stare this obstacle down and hold their ground.

The Fearless Girl shows women that they can stand proudly in the face of any challenge, and it points at the historical battle that women have fought for equality.

If we understand the power of women in leadership, we can better understand the power of the American people that the Charging Bull tried to make us to realize.

United and equal, we are stronger together; the defiance of women has altered the development of history, and gender diversity is a valued component of our society.

It’s more than just a statue: Women are part of the American people. Women represent strength and power. Women are fearless. Women are leaders. And women deserve to be represented.

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