The Fearless Girl, which has been facing the Wall Street Bull with her feet askance and her arms defiantly outwards at her hips, disappeared late Tuesday night. It was replaced with a circular plaque with two footprints which reads: “The Fearless Girl is on the move to the New York Stock Exchange. Until she’s there, stand for her. #FearlessGirl.” The plaque also contains the logo of the financial firm that sponsored the statue, State Street Global Advisors, which has experienced both adulation and controversy over the statue since it was first installed in 2017. On our visit, most people remained facing the bull not entirely noticing that the Fearless Girl was missing, but a few folks took up the call to stand for her, exactly on the footprints.

The City of New York and State Street had announced the Fearless Girl’s move in April, and at our visit behind the scenes inside the New York Stock Exchange the last week of April, a video showcasing the statue’s move was showing in the elevators. Officially, the reason for the move is that her move to the stock exchange will “encourage more companies to take action and, more broadly, that she will continue to inspire people from all walks of life on the issue of gender diversity,” according to State Street Global Advisors President and CEO Cyrus Taraporevala.

Fearless Girl draped in flowers for International Women’s Day. Photograph by Teresa Santos

This messaging in line with State Street’s official web page about the Fearless Girl, for which the company has been buying Google keyword ads. It focuses on the impact the Fearless Girl has had, stating that she “has ignited a global conversation about the power of women in leadership and inspired companies around the world to add women to their boards. ” But news reports have indicated that the move was precipitated by traffic concerns, with the spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeting in April that the Wall Street Bull will “almost certainly be moved.”

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