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United States

Bank that installed ‘Fearless Girl’ statue on Wall Street settles gender discrimination lawsuit

US found State Street paid hundreds of female executives less than male colleagues

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 2:35am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 3:25am

State Street Corp, the US$2.6 trillion asset manager that installed the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street, agreed to settle US allegations that it discriminated against hundreds of female executives by paying them less than their male colleagues.

The bank will pay US$5 million to more than 300 women, following a US Department of Labour audit that uncovered the alleged discrepancies, according to a settlement agreement.

The Labour 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.

“State Street is committed to equal pay practises and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programmes are non-discriminatory,” the company said.

State Street typically calls on other companies to add more women to their boards, especially those that have none. This year, the bank said it has voted against the re-election of the chair or most senior member of a board’s nominating and governance committee at 400 firms with men-only boards. State Street also recently launched its SPDR Gender Diversity exchange-traded fund, which focuses on firms that have greater gender diversity in senior leadership.

Still, more often than not, State Street has voted against gender pay shareholder proposals.