In the beginning of March, State Street treated us all to the greatest show of woke-ness in modern financial history.
Since then, "Fearless Girl" has turned into a fun tourist attraction for social justice warriors and their bored friends who want to go drinking on Stone Street. It's also spurred a handful of conversations on gender equity in finance that usually end with Wall Streeters patting themselves on the back and haughtily murmuring "At least we're not as bad as Silicon Valley." All in all, State Street's super-public attempt to become the female-empowerment face of American banking has been going pretty nicely.
But also, it's been secretly going not-so-great-at-all. Per Bloomberg:
State Street Corp., the $2.6 trillion asset manager that installed the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street, agreed to settle U.S. allegations that it discriminated against hundreds of female executives by paying them less than male colleagues.
The custody bank will pay $5 million to more than 300 women, following a U.S. Department of Labor audit that uncovered the alleged discrepancies, according to a settlement agreement disclosed Wednesday.
The Labor Department alleged that women in senior leadership positions at Boston-based State Street received lower base salaries, bonus pay and total compensation since at least December 2010. The company said it has cooperated fully with the agency and that it disagreed with the findings of the audit, which was done in 2012.
Oh, come on, State Street. You don't pay $5 million and risk hilarious embarrassment if you really disagree with the findings of the audit. You did it, now own up to it and start the conversation about how true Woke-ness happens in stages.
And we warned you back in early March that this could all go quickly south if your money wasn't where your small bronze statue was, and now you do "look like a dude in a “The Future is Female” t-shirt hailing an Uber to a Woody Allen retrospective."