Fearless Girl statue purely symbolic as State Street Corp. underpays women

By Samantha Moffett, Columnist
On October 12, 2017

The Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street holds no meaning when CEOs continue to underpay women.

Once praised for its message of female empowerment through the famous Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street, the State Street Corp. is now being ordered to pay $5 million dollars after evidence of underpaying female and black employees was found.

The underpaying of women and other minorities is still statistically evident in many corporations and there is simply no place for the inequality in the modern corporate U.S.  

The Department of Labor reports that “statistically significant” under-compensation of female and black workers within the State Street Corporation is evident.

The investigation that began in 2012 came to its end with a $5 million settlement. The Department of Labor’s investigation revealed that 305 women were paid less than their male coworkers in the same position, and 15 black employees were paid less than their white coworkers in the same position.

The State Street Corporation has previously promoted a message of diversity and equality in corporate roles through the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street, but the company’s recently-found wrongdoings contradict this message. 

While the firm was extremely publicized for the statue and message of equality, this message was being quietly opposed behind company doors.

This reality of inequality in the workplace is also true for minorities in other corporations. CNN reports that out of 500 companies, only 24 of those CEOs are female. This report shows a clear disconnect for how companies approach the idea of capable women in leadership positions.

“When we close our eyes and picture what a CEO looks like, too often the picture that comes to mind is that of a white man,” CEO Deborah Gillis said. Gillis’ company, Catalyst, is a nonprofit that pushes toward the improvement of gender diversity in the corporate U.S.

In a 2011 Catalyst report, it was shown that companies with a high representation of women and minorities significantly outperformed companies without. This analysis shows the underrepresentation and under-compensation of minorities in corporations actually has a negative effect on performance rates. However, females and minorities are still missing in leadership positions.

Resourceful Manager reports that even if women climb higher into the workforce, trends show that it will become increasingly difficult to be paid what men are. Reports show that women in upper-level executive positions earn only 72 percent of what their male coworkers receive.  Resourceful Manager also reports that there is no place in the workforce that women earn the same as men.

It is hard to believe that injustices in the corporate U.S. — such as inequality of pay based on gender, race or other unrelated work factors — still exist in 2017. As corporations move forward, they should keep in mind that the negative effects caused by minority inequality could bring their companies to a severe decline. With an economy already in need of help, there is no place in business for these injustices to occur any longer.


Samantha Moffett is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.

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