Finance | October 6, 2017 11:44 am

‘Fearless Girl’ Funder to Pay $5 Million Fine for Allegedly Underpaying Women

State Street had previously been celebrated for its diversity.

What the 'Fearless Girl' Statue Is Teaching Wall Street About Itself
The 'Fearless Girl' (front) statue stands facing the 'Charging Bull' as tourists take pictures in New York on April 12, 2017. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

State Street, the parent company of the investment firm behind Wall Street’s famous Fearless Girl statue, agreed to pay a combined $5 million to more than 300 women and 15 black employees who were paid less than their white, male counterparts, according to Adweek

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs informed the company of “corrective actions required” on March 31 this year, the same month Fearless Girl debuted on Wall Street.

According to the federael audit, the company had discriminated against women in senior-level roles by paying them lower base salaries, bonuses, and total compensation than their male colleagues since at least December 1, 2010, Adweek reports.

State street officially denies the claims. The $5 million settlement includes about $4.5 million in back pay and $500,000 in interest, Adweek reports.

A State Street spokesperson in a statement said that they disagreed with OFCCP’s analysis and findings, they cooperated and made a decision to bring the matter to a close and move forward, reports Adweek.

“State Street is committed to equal pay practices and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are nondiscriminatory,” the statement said, according to Adweek.

The company is subject to regular audits from the Department of Labor because they are a federal contractor. The settlement will require the company to do compensation analysis for all employees at the levels of those involved in this case every year for three years, according to Adweek.

During a recent panel moderated by Adweek, State Street Global Advisors CMO Stephen Tisdalle discussed the “inherent risks of Fearless Girl” and acknowledged the question of “who are you to talk about gender diversity when you’re not a perfect embodiment of it?”

“What I would say to that is we had a foundation we could go back to to say why we did Fearless Girl, and no matter what anybody said, no matter what rocks were thrown, we could say, ‘You’re right, but this is the way we invest, this is the way the world needs to invest, this is a human moral value. How can you argue against it? We have to be doing better ourselves. She’s as much an inspiration to our organization as she is to the world,” Tisdalle said