Bankers behind ‘Girl’ count few women as execs
THE BANK that installed the “Fearless Girl” statue to make a point about gender inequity employs only a handful of women as executives, and its parent company has been repeatedly cited for ethics violations.
State Street Global Advisors has 28 top executives, of whom five are women.
That’s about 17% of the top office, slightly worse than the other big Wall Street banks, statistics show.
By comparison, a 2015 Business Insider survey found that the percentage of women employed as executives at other top banks is slightly better: Citi Bank (19%), Goldman Sachs (21%) Wells Fargo (22%) and JPMorgan (25%). Bank of America stands out with 34%.
The firm said it put up the popular statue of the defiant 9-year-old girl across from the iconic Wall Street “Charging Bull” to call attention to the lack of women executives on The Street.
On Monday, as Mayor de Blasio and other city politicians pushed to keep the statue in place for a year, State Street’s parent company said it was proud of its record of employing women.
Overall, the staff of State Street Bank & Trust is 47% women; 23% of its executive vice presidents are women, and 28% of senior vice presidents are women.
“We have set specific goals to increase diversity across the company by end of 2017, with the aim to increase female representation across our ranks,” said spokeswoman Anne McNally. “Since we outlined these goals in 2014, we’ve increased gender diversity at all levels. While we’re proud of these statistics, we are constantly working to do better.” The bank has also been the subject of four separate investigations by regulators in the last few years, city records show. State Street has 10 contracts with the City of New York, which redflags investigations of vendors in the Mayor’s Office of Contracts Vendex system. The system’s “Caution List” notes a January 2016 agreement in which State Street paid $12 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges over the firm’s alleged involvement in an Ohio bribery scandal. Prosecutors in Ohio charged that the executive who ran State Street’s public funds group steered kickbacks to a state bureaucrat to win lucrative contracts managing pension funds. State Street neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. The Vendex list also cites a pending investigation of State Street by the SEC and an unspecified U.S. attorney over allegations that the bank drastically overcharged customers. Last April, Massachusetts filed a complaint against State Street Global Markets LLC, alleging a “dishonest and pervasive culture of overbilling.” The bank allegedly hit customers with “concealed markups” on everything from courier services to stamp duties, charging $5 for each message about fund transfers that cost the bank as little as 25 cents. In one email, a State Street executive wrote, “We can’t be in the position that they discover that we are taking them to the cleaners,” records show. State Street’s Vendex file also noted Italy imposed fines on the bank in 2013 over violations of its regulations, and in 2015 the Federal Reserve imposed sanctions and required the firm to upgrade its compliance enforcement. State Street did not comment on any of the citations noted by Vendex. firstname.lastname@example.org
Banking firm State Street erected “Fearless Girl” statue, sculpted by Kristen Visbal (top), to confront Wall Street bull as symbol of equality. But only 17% of company’s top positions are filled by women, worse than most other financial firms.