On Monday, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) unveiled its Fearless Girl statue in London, outside the London Stock Exchange.

The statue, created by sculptor Kristen Visbal, was transferred from Wall Street in New York City, where it has been situated facing Manhattan’s iconic ‘Charging Bull’ since March 2017.

In a press release announcing Fearless Girl’s relocation, SSGA claimed that 445 companies had “responded to the call to action” by adding or committing to add a female director.

SSGA’s deputy CIO Lori Heinel said: “Studies have shown that companies with greater gender diversity at the senior leadership levels generate better returns than their peers. That drives our conviction to continue our engagement and voting efforts as we look to make further progress on this important topic.”

However, data from the $2.5trn (€2.2trn) asset manager indicates that there is still a great deal of work to be done to improve female representation on corporate boards.

In 2018, SSGA identified 1,265 companies globally that did not have a single female board member, up from 1,228 in 2017.

SSGA said that, from next year, it would vote against “the entire slate of board members” on nomination committees if a company does not have at least one woman on its board, and has failed to engage with the manager’s diversity project for three straight years.

Further reading

Dutch pension funds ‘falling short’ on board diversity
Pension funds in the Netherlands are improving their compliance with the country’s code of conduct but still falling short on improving gender and age diversity, according to the code’s dedicated monitoring committee.