Bank behind 'Fearless Girl' statue underpaid female, black employees

Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue.
Wall Street's 'Fearless Girl' statue. Photo credit: Getty

The bank behind the 'Fearless Girl' statue on New York City's Wall Street has agreed to settle allegations that it paid female and black employees less than white, male colleagues.

'Fearless Girl' is a bronze sculpture, depicting a young girl facing the Wall Street bull statue.

It was commissioned by State Street Corp. to promote a fund that tracks companies that have a higher percentage of women among their senior leadership.

The plaque below the statue states, "Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference".

State Street often calls on other companies to add more women to their boards, particularly those without any.

However, an audit has found that State Street Corp. has paid women and black employees in senior leadership positions lower base salaries, bonus pay and compensation than white men at the company, since at least December 2010.

The company has agreed to pay USD$5million to more than 300 women and 15 black employees, but said it disagreed with the findings of the 2012 audit.

"State Street is committed to equal-pay practices, and evaluates, on an ongoing basis, our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programmes are nondiscriminatory," the company told Bloomberg.

The findings from the audit were filed on Thursday, along with the settlement agreement.