Not content to rest on her laurels as a striking Wall Street statue, Fearless Girl has moved on to shattering glass ceilings.
Four years ago, State Street Global Advisors installed Fearless Girl to send "an immediate and unmistakable message to the world's business leaders: that having strong women in leadership matters," President and CEO Cyrus Taraporevala said in a recent client letter.
To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8 this year, SSGA surrounded her with a broken glass ceiling "as a symbol of the new ground women are breaking every day," the letter said.
Since 2017, the call for greater gender diversity on corporate boards has resonated across the globe, the asset manager said. What started in the U.S., U.K. and Australia has since spread to the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Today, 58% of 1,486 companies with previously all-male boards have responded by adding at least one female director, according to SSGA.
The asset manager took its own advice, naming its first female global CIO, Lori Heinel, who joins other women at the firm serving in asset class CIO roles. Ms. Heinel will oversee 500 investment professionals worldwide and nearly $3.5 trillion in assets under management. SSGA is also doing more to recruit, retain and promote more diverse employees, and to eliminate racial inequity in the organization, Mr. Taraporeva said in the letter.
"Of all the things Fearless Girl proved — from the fact that long-term value really does begin at the board, to the reminder that we all have so much untapped potential in our own employee ranks — perhaps the most important is that change is both desperately needed and very much possible," Mr. Taraporeva said. "Four years later, that's only one of the many reasons she's still going strong. Here's to many more."