One of the first International Women’s Day demonstrators has arrived in downtown New York in the form of a statue.
At the corner of Bowling Green Park—home to the world-famous statue of a charging bull—now stands a “fearless girl,” her arms at her hips and her chest stuck out in defiance of the bronze beast across from her.
According to Adweek, the statue was planted there late Monday night by McCann New York, a major ad agency, and its client, investment firm State Street Global Advisors. The goal is to put public pressure on companies (and in particular, the companies in which SSGA invests) to increase female leadership.
What’s more, SSGA plans to hold these companies accountable. From Business Insider:
The huge money manager said it will vote against boards if a company fails to take steps to increase its female membership. The company plans to send out a letter to 3,500 companies on March 7 asking the companies to take action.
Gender diversity remains a problem for most American companies, despite ample research that shows having women in leadership is a great for a company’s bottom line. Not only that, but corporations with women serving on their board or directors tend to be less embroiled in scandals, fraud, and corruption.
But despite all of this, women hold just under 20% of board seats at the U.S.’s biggest companies (despite the ever-increasing purchasing power of female consumers). The case is even more dire for women of color, who only make up 3.1% of all board seats.
While the girl is expected to keep standing for at least a week, here’s hoping her message finally takes root on Wall Street permanently.