The financial services firm responsible for the "Fearless Girl" statue on Wall Street has agreed to pay $5 million to settle federal allegations that it paid female and black executives less than their white male counterparts.
Thursday's agreement came after a probe by the U.S. Department of Labor into the Boston-based State Street Corporation, which installed the statue on the eve of National Women's Day in March as part of a campaign to encourage companies to add more women to their boards.
Town & Country reported in March that State Street had only three women on its 11-person board of directors and five women on its 28-member leadership team, and investigators determined that the corporation had paid female executives less in base pay, bonus pay, and total compensation than similarly situated males in the same positions.
The official filing, first reported by Adweek, shows that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs began auditing the firm in late 2012 based on data from the years 2010 and 2011. The audit concluded that, since “at least December 1, 2010, and continuing thereafter,” the company had discriminated against 305 women in senior-level roles by paying them lower base salaries, bonus pay, and total compensation than their male colleagues. Fifteen black employees at the vice president level were similarly paid less than their white counterparts, the analysis found.
A spokeswoman for the company told the Associated Press Thursday that State Street disagrees with the analysis but opted to bring the six-year-old matter to a resolution and move forward.
In a statement, the company said it is "committed to equal pay practices and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are nondiscriminatory."
Artist Kristen Visbal's "Fearless Girl" statue of a girl with her hands on her hips was commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, a division of State Street Corporation, and placed on a traffic island facing Wall Street's "Charging Bull" statue on March 7.
The work was embraced by tourists and others as a symbol of female empowerment, though some critics have questioned the motives of State Street, which has said the statue was intended "to celebrate the power of women in leadership and to urge greater gender diversity on corporate boards."
With reporting from the Associated Press
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.