NEW YORK - She’s a symbol of strength and gender equality for women. Since the “Fearless Girl” statue was placed in front of the Wall Street bull in March, she has drawn crowds for selfie shots and praise for exuding empowerment for women.
It is not a small irony that State Street Corporation, the company that sponsored the statue, has agreed to pay $5 million to settle allegations that it underpaid female and black employees, CNN reported.
A Department of Labor probe in 2012 found that State Street paid 305 women who held the executive positions of senior vice president, managing director or vice president less than their male counterparts. The investigation showed that the women earned smaller base salaries, bonuses and total compensation than men.
The findings from the audit were filed in Boston, where State Street is located, on Wednesday, along with the settlement agreement, the New York Post reported. State Street will pay the affected parties about $4.5 million in back pay and approximately $500,000 in interest, CNN reported.
The firm has denied any wrongdoing.
"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 programs are nondiscriminatory," the company said in a statement.
“While we disagreed with the [Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs]'s analysis and findings, we have cooperated fully with them, and made a decision to bring this six year-old matter to resolution and move forward.”
State Street Global Advisors, the corporation's investment management division, installed "Fearless Girl" across from the "Charging Bull" statue in March to call attention to its efforts to increase the number of women on its clients' corporate boards, CNN reported.
The bronze statue was immediately popular, with people visiting and snapping photographs next to it. The statue was originally slated to stay for a week, but it became so popular that thousands signed a petition to make it a permanent fixture in New York’s financial district.
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