Legal Blog

The Firm Behind Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” Statue Settles Gender Pay Disparity Claims

This past March, State Street Global Advisors, a subsidiary of State Street Corporation, put up a statue of a girl facing down the Wall Street Bull on the eve of International Women’s Day.  The statue, now known as “Fearless Girl”, was meant to call attention to the lack of gender diversity on corporate boards and the pay gap of women working in financial services.


Unfortunately, behind the scenes, State Street was under investigation by the Department of Labor for pay discrimination against female and black executives in Senior Vice President, Vice President and Managing Director positions.  The DOL alleged, in its investigation, that even after accounting for legitimate factors affecting pay were taken into its account, a statistically significant discrepancy existed between compensation paid to white men and compensation paid to women and minorities.  On September 29, 2017, the DOL and State Street entered into a consent order settling the matter for a reported $5 million and providing for further, non-economic relief.


As this case reflects, even companies on the forefront of the fight for gender equality can struggle to properly implement policies and procedures to ensure that they are not unknowingly engaged in disparate pay practices.  It is imperative that all employers investigate their compensation structures and, where necessary, take real steps to ensure that any pay disparities are supported by legitimate factors.


For an additional discussion of this case and other issues related to the pay gap, please sign up for our free upcoming webinar, De-Mystifying the Gender Pay Gap on November 2, 2017 at noon.  During this webinar, we’ll discuss tools and policies that you can implement to avoid making similar headlines.


If you have questions on this or any other employment matter, please contact us.



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