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Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Investment Firm Behind 'Fearless Girl' Statue Settles $5 Million Equal Pay Lawsuit

Investment Firm Behind 'Fearless Girl' Statue Settles $5 Million Equal Pay Lawsuit

The financial services firm behind Wall Street's "Fearless Girl" statue agreed to pay $5 million to settle federal allegations that it paid female executives less than their male counterparts.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the Boston-based company, which manages about $2.5 trillion, paid more than 300 women in top leadership roles less that it paid men in comparable positions. The company is paying $5 million after investigators concluded it underpaid female and black employees.

In an email statement, State Street said it disagreed with the agency's findings but "made a decision to bring this six-year-old matter to resolution and move forward".

In a statement, the firm said it was "committed to equal pay practices" and that it "evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are non-discriminatory".

The State Street Corporation installed the statue in March of 2017 just ahead of International Women's Day.

Compounding the irony, State Street used the statue's installation as an opportunity to tout its efforts to promote more women to senior level positions - a program that was reportedly initiated by CEO Joseph Hooley in 2010 - the same year that the bank began underpaying women, according to the DOL's complaint. Since the "Fearless Girl" statue was placed in front of the Wall Street bull in March, she has drawn crowds for selfie shots and praise for exuding empowerment for women.

Created by USA artist Kristen Visbal, the work became a defiant symbol of women's rights under President Donald Trump, who won election a year ago despite the emergence of a video of him bragging about groping women. Turns out that the company behind what some deemed as a publicity stunt is paying $5M in back pay to female executives who reportedly were paid less than their male colleagues. Huh.

The artist behind the "Charging Bull" said that the presence of "Fearless Girl" changed the meaning behind his art, which was installed in 1989.

"Fearless Girl" was a potent symbol proving that women can - and should - be an important part of the financial sector, the firm previously told The Post.

As Mediaite reported at the time, the sculpture was put in place by State Street Global Advisors, an asset management firm.

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