On the eve of International Woman's Day, a statue of a "fearless girl" was placed in front of the famous Charging Bull Statue in lower Manhattan.
The statue was installed as guerrilla art overnight by McCann New York, a major advertising agency, and its client, investment firm State Street Global Advisers.
The installation was meant to bring awareness to the lack of gender diversity on corporate boards and the gender pay gap of women in finance.
Anne Mcnally, a spokeswoman for State Street says;
"A lot of people talk about gender diversity, but we really felt we had to take it to a broader level."
A Catalyst study says women hold fewer than 20 percent of corporate board seats in S&P 500 companies.
State Street says one-fourth of Russell 3000 companies have no women on their boards and companies with strong female leadership perform better than those that do not.
State Street Global Advisors CEO Ron O'Hanley says;
"Today, we are calling on companies to take concrete steps to increase gender diversity on their boards and have issued clear guidance to help them begin to take action."
The little bronze girl was created by artist Kristen Visbal.
In an interview, Visbal says she considered having the girl charging the bull, but decided the girl should face the animal head on.
“Wall Street is a traditionally male environment and it says, ‘Hey, we’re here,’...to me, it says a woman can be delicate and petite, but strong.”
She says the sculpture was modeled after the daughter of a friend, and a 9-year-old Latina girl.
The installation was approved by the city and will remain for at least a week.
Also in honor of International Women's Day, women are being encouraged to stay home from work and for those who can't afford to are being asked to limit their shopping to female-owned businesses or to wear red.