In March, a New York hedge fund installed a bronze Fearless Girl statue facing down Wall Street’s famous statue of a charging bull. It was an instant sensation.
Feminists found it empowering and inspirational. Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped by to take a photo with it. It was a public relations coup for the hedge fund, State Street Global Advisors, which reveled in the publicity and used it to bash companies that it claimed had a poor track record of naming women to their corporate boards. “We placed the ‘Fearless Girl’ there to be a partner to the bull, to represent the power of women,” a State Street executive told the Atlantic.
Now it appears that State Street needed all the gender-friendly press it could muster. It turns out that if Fearless Girl had been a State Street executive instead of a bronze statue, the company would have paid her less than male colleagues. So much for girl power.
This month, the company reached a settlement with the Department of Labor over allegations that it discriminated against more than 300 female employees: “The Labor Department alleged that women in senior leadership positions at Boston-based State Street received lower base salaries, bonus pay and total compensation since at least December 2010,” Bloomberg News reported. The Labor Department also accused State Street of discriminating against 15 black vice presidents. The company agreed to pay a total of $5 million to the victims of its discrimination.
We’re reminded of the old proverb: People who live in glass skyscrapers shouldn’t be building purely symbolic statues. Something like that.
Article source: http://www.weeklystandard.com/bull-plucky/article/2010054