NEW YORK — In less than a month, the 50-inch bronze “Fearless Girl” facing off against Wall Street’s iconic Charging Bull has become a local celebrity. Thousands of tourists have clamored for a selfie with the ponytailed girl in a windblown dress, while others leaned perilously over the tops of their double-decker tour buses for an on-the-go picture.
“Ohh, I just love her so much,” cooed Halie Redmond, 12, of Albany, who persuaded her parents to stop by the statue’s Lower Manhattan perch during their long-weekend in the city. Redmond then clamped her hands to her waist, mimicking the statue’s pose, and smiled as her parents jockeyed for the best angle.
On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced that the statue, which was set to be removed next month, will remain a fixture in the city until at least April 2018.
The decision by local officials is “a fitting path for a girl who refuses to quit,” de Blasio said. (Before speaking, de Blasio had crouched down – he’s more than 6 feet tall – to get his photo taken with the statute too.)
Fearless Girl is inspiring everyone in a moment where we need inspiration. pic.twitter.com/peNmSKL7Hw
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 27, 2017
Boston-based State Street Global Advisors, which manages more than $2 trillion in assets, installed the statue as part of a campaign to encourage companies to add more women to their corporate boards. If corporations don’t make progress toward adding women to their board, State Street said it will votes its shares against their directors, the company said.
Nearly 25 percent of companies in the Russell 3000 index, a benchmark of the entire U.S. stock market, have no female membership, according to corporate governance data firm Equilar.
“We would like to thank Mayor Di Blasio and the people around the world who have responded so enthusiastically to what the Fearless Girl represents – the power and potential of having more women in leadership,” Ron O’Hanley, chief executive of State Street Global Advisors, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that she can continue to share her positive message and inspire the next generation of women leaders.”
There is at least one person who is likely not happy “Fearless Girl” is staying put. The creator of the Charging Bull, Arturo Di Modica, told the New York Post of the statue now drawing more attention than his bronze, 7,100-pound, 11 feet tall bull: “That is not a symbol! That’s an advertising trick.”
Di Modica created the bull more than 20 years ago as a symbol of financial prosperity after the 1987 market crash. “My bull is a symbol for America. My bull is a symbol of prosperity and for strength,” he said.