Should the “Fearless Girl” become a permanent fixture in the Financial District? Thousands of people who have signed two petitions may think so, but Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't appear to be on board.
"You know, some people have called for permanent action," the mayor said at an unrelated news conference on Tuesday. "We’re hesitant to do anything permanent because that has ramifications for the whole city."
Since its appearance opposite the "Charging Bull" in lower Manhattan on March 7, 2017, the bronze statue titled “Fearless Girl” has become a beacon of the women’s rights movement as well as a tourist hot spot.
Installed on the eve of International Women’s Day, the 4-foot bronze statue of a girl defiantly staring down the Wall Street bull, with her hands on her hips, head high and chin out, is meant to bring light to the lack of gender diversity on corporate boards.
Although women have made some headway against the glass ceiling, State Street said one out of four of the companies that make up the Russell 3000 Index still have no female representation on their boards.
The statue – commissioned by the firm State Street Global Advisors and sculpted by artist Kirsten Visbal – was only meant to be on display for one week, but Mayor Bill de Blasio extended the period to April 2.
Fans of the statue (and what it stands for), however, would like to see it become a permanent part of the Financial District’s landscape. At least two petitions were started shortly after the statue’s debut, calling for the city to allow the “Fearless Girl” to remain.
A petition on Thepetitionsite.com is less than 2,000 signatures away from its goal of 35,000.
“As of now this statue is supposed to be a temporary fixture and is expected to last up to a month; however, women's equality is not a temporary issue,” the petition says. “The significance of women's equality should not be limited to a day, a week, or a month.”
Meanwhile, a similar Change.org petition urging de Blasio to make the statue permanent has garnered more than 23,000 signatures – just over 1,200 shy of its 25,000 goal.
The mayor, however, did appear to be in favor of prolonging the statue's residency.
"...in terms of a longer presence, I’m open to that and we’re going to be looking at that," de Blasio said. "I understand for a lot of people it’s a fantastically powerful symbol...”
After the statue was unveiled, Anne McNally, whose firm is an investment management subsidiary of State Street Corp, said that if the city decided to allow the “Fearless Girl” to remain permanently, “we're absolutely on board with that."