Read the text below.
Financial services company State Street Corp. was instructed to pay its high-level female employees $5 million in settlement after a 2012 audit.
The audit, conducted by the US Department of Labor, revealed that the company has been paying female executives less than its male leaders. Aside from the pay difference based on gender, the company was also accused of giving unequal compensation based on race. State Street denied the allegations, but it has agreed to pay the settlement.
Critics call the issue ironic because, on the eve of International Women’s Day 2017, State Street Corp. installed a statue called the Fearless Girl to celebrate female leaders. The statue was meant to advertise the company’s new initiative called SHE. Under this initiative, State Street Corp. invests in businesses that support female executives.
The Fearless Girl is a sculpture of a small child placed in front of Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull. With the position of the two statues, the girl looks like she is challenging or standing up against the bull.
The statue was meant to be taken down last April, but the city of New York decided to make the Fearless Girl part of its public art project. It will remain in Wall Street until its anniversary in 2018.
The public’s response to the statue was polarized. Some appreciated it and are even petitioning to keep it on Wall Street permanently. However, others criticized it and questioned why women empowerment is represented by a young girl instead of an adult female. The Charging Bull’s sculptor also said that he felt disrespected because he did not intend for his work to look like it might crush a child.