Company Behind the 'Fearless Girl' Statue Got Sued For Underpaying Female Employees

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When the United States Department of Labor orders your company to fork over $5 million to female employees you underpaid, months after you erect a statue symbolizing female empowerment, you might want to rethink your business model. 

This is the reality facing Boston-based financial service company, State Street Global Advisors.

The company put up the "Fearless Girl" statue at the beginning of Women's History month this past March as a symbolic challenge to Wall Street's white-male dominated Wall Street, an idea they allege is embodied by the famous "Charging Bull" statue that stands directly in front of their own.

The company erected the statue as part of an organization-wide campaign to encourage gender diversity, and advance women specifically, in corporate positions of leadership.

However, the prospects concerning the legitimacy of the company's campaign are in jeopardy, as the results of a 2012 audit showed that SSGA paid top female and minority employees disproportionately to white male counterparts.

The report also found that women at State Street received lower base salaries, bonus pay, and total compensation since at least December 2010.

Despite the company’s decision to cooperate with the DOL and pay the $5 million, SSGA delivered a statement to Fortune saying that they disagree with the decision and have always been committed to equal pay practices actively assess discriminatory practices within the company on a regular basis.

Unfortunately for SSGA’s, their numbers are also at odds with their rhetoric, as the company only backed two out of 11 gender pay related shareholders in the past year.

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