'Fearless Girl' firm pays $5M to settle pay discrimination suit
- The company responsible for the statue of the young girl facing the "Charging Bull" on Wall Street has agreed to pay $5 million to settle a pay discrimination case, reports Fortune. State Street, the asset management firm, had installed the "Fearless Girl" statue as a symbol of female power and equality. However, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) accused the company of paying women less than men in the same positions and black executives less than white executives.
- Fortune says State Street installed the statue in part to promote SHE, its exchange-traded fund that invests only in companies that are committed to gender diversity. The firm had been recognized as a leader in supporting women in the workplace.
- DOL based its allegation on an analysis of State Street's Boston headquarters in December 2012, says Fortune. According to DOL, the pay disparities go as far back as 2010.
State Street's settlement agreement was with DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) itself but other employers have in recent weeks ended up facing private claims filed after OFCCP started looking at their pay practices.
Employees from both Oracle and Google have initiated such suits. Three former Oracle employees are suing the company for paying them less than their male counterparts. Ex-Google workers filed a class-action suit against the tech giant for gender-based pay discrimination, after DOL says it found evidence of pay disparities between female and male wages. Google has denied the allegations.
Investors also are beginning to pressure employers to rid their organizations of gender pay discrepancies. Companies like Google and Starbucks have already heard from their investors, requesting that the companies also work to ensure that benefits, like leave, are equal as well.
Employers who want to examine their own workforce for a pay gap can start with an internal audit.