On the eve of International Women’s Day, American sculptor Kristen Visbal unveiled her latest piece. Standing defiant and strong, a bronze statue of a young girl stares down the iconic Wall Street bull in Lower Manhattan, New York.
Entitled ‘Fearless Girl’ the statue calls attention to gender inequality in the corporate world. Commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, the artwork is designed to represent the resilience and strength of women, challenging the male-dominated corporate world and to call on companies to celebrate diversity within the boardroom.
Staring down the ‘Charging Bull’, designed by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica, Visbal’s ‘Fearless Girl’ is another reminder that softness and sensitivity equals strength and capability. Visbal commented on the piece: “All women should relate to this work.” She wrote that “it should inspire the young to dream as if anything were possible and simultaneously encourage today’s working woman to hold her ground, no matter what challenges may come barreling down the pike.”
Whilst the infamous bull was commissioned as a representation of the power of the American people, Visbal’s companion to it reflects a more poignant and international plea: women around the world are underrepresented in senior leadership positions.
Recent findings state that globally, women hold an average of only 21 percent of senior management positions, and just 9 per cent of CEO jobs. And that’s without mentioning the gender pay gap (in 2017…) That’s a whole lot of leadership from wonderful women the world is being deprived of. Not to mention that fresh evidence suggests that companies with high proportions of senior female leaders tend to deliver stronger financial results.
The message of Visbal’s piece is clear: “A work which reminds us today’s working woman is here to stay and has taken her place in the nation’s financial district,” she said. “The piece is pungent with Girl Power!”
At a time where the world is filled with injustice and inequality, this piece of artwork symbolises the future. With her hands on her hips and her head up high, this young girl is staring the patriarchy down and telling the world that we all need a lot more solidarity, and a little bit more rebellion.
She is fearless. She is the future.
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