At the break of early dawn on 7th March 2017, emerged the ‘Fearless Girl’. Proudly standing with chest and chin high up, hands firmly rested on her waist, frozen while expressing the power of femininity, facing the ‘charging bull’. Overnight she became an icon of feminism all around the world. So much so, she didn’t require any publicity. Garnering over 1 billion tweets in just 12 hours of being installed, which climbed up to 4.6 billion tweets and over 215000 Instagram posts in 12 weeks, she acquired over $7.4 million in free marketing. What a strategy, what a concept! She, with her 50-inch stature, created the loudest roar through her silence.
She stands as a celebration of the one year anniversary of its mother company, State Street Global Advisor (SSGA)’s establishment of the SHE Fund. Like the name would suggest, they work to support gender equality in every forum. SSGA being one of the largest asset managers in the world with somewhere around $2.6 trillion under its belt, is using its influence to propagate gender equality in corporate spheres. They hold voting rights in many of the companies it invests in, and is using that power to employ more women in leadership positions.
There are a ton of documented facts about women being better leaders scattered all throughout the internet. Just typing the keywords on Google search will open up a plethora of papers and insights on this topic. Women are genetically and hormonally wired in a way which makes them great leaders – they are great listeners, managers, bosses (oh well!) alike. SSGA, along with its SHE Fund, is implementing this very notion.
SSGA voluntarily invests in firms where women form the pivotal positions or rank higher in authority. They also take up the task of reaching out to those companies which aren’t yet on board with this trend and educating them to do the necessary. They’ve managed to get 76 companies out of 476 already change their setups to incorporate more women in higher up ranks.
The little ‘Fearless Girl’ has pumped in extra fuel to their pace. The daily trading volume shot up by 384% in just 3 days of her installation, and about 170% up over the following 20 days. That’s massive when you consider the number of people actually investing to make the change. SSGA aims to alter all of the 3500 publicly traded companies it invests in through this initiative. EY has surveyed this idea and published that the global GDP would spike up to about $30 trillion, i.e. by around 26%, by 2025, if men and women participate equally in every aspect of the corporate structure.