Artist Kristen Visbal is changing the way we look at women through her artwork, one fearless girl at a time. Check out the official press release for @womensday , exclusively here!

For Immediate Release March 8, 2018

Press Release
Kristen Visbal
Visbal Fine Bronze Sculpture, Inc.
17618 Vineyard Lane
Lewes, DE 19958
PH: 302-645-9075



As the day dawns on the second anniversary of our Fearless Girl, I contemplate the past year and how my own message has evolved. On November 30th, 2016 I received an image of a tiny girl standing,
Wonder Woman style, in front of the iconic Wall Street Bull. The incredulity of this figure standing up to the enormous bovine that is Charging Bull made me laugh out loud. Could I design the work and build it in clay by December 31st? I could and it was going to be so much fun! My mission was to use my art to celebrate women in time for International Women’s Day. It’s as simple as that. What ensued was a firestorm that circled the globe and presented the public with an exciting fact: Men and women are more profitable together. Leave one gender out of the equation and you’ll lose your leading edge.

I like to think I picked a couple of great models and added my own style to the figure but, I am not so egotistical as to think it was my art that generated this enormous wave. It was, in short, VALIDATION of women that fed the fire. Finally, after a century of women trying to assert their intrinsic human rights, here was proof they were important and critical aspect of business. Along came State Street Global Advisors, the mammoth Boston based asset management company touting the virtues and benefits of gender diversity in decision making, clearly laid out in the latest diversity studies. Have you searched “Gender Diversity Studies” on the net yet? You will be presented with a host of information outlining the benefits of female inclusion in decision making for increased productivity, profitability, smarter decisions and an improved work environment. I believe you can take this approach to gender diversity in business and apply it to the home, school and every other aspect of the community. Hurrah! All these years of struggle with the women’s rights movement and now this tasty little morsel that is Fearless Girl has become a symbol so packed full of meaning: Empowerment! Yet, Fearless Girl is far more than empowerment. She imparts courage, courage to be who you really are, courage to stand up to the “bulls” in your life, courage to speak out for what you believe in.

Thousands of emails poured in. Women wrote they were tattooing Fearless Girl on their bodies, men requested reproductions to inspire their fearless women and girls, mothers saw their daughters in her, people wanted to film her for their movie, include her photo in their book. One mother wrote that Fearless Girl looked just like her daughter who died in a tragic accident, a loss no mother should have to endure. Another pledged to take her daughter to see the figure in New York before her daughter lost her sight permanently. The hope is that the memory of Fearless Girl would encourage her daughter to be strong in light of this impending fate. Parents were showing images of Fearless Girl to their daughters before their soccer games and stitching up dresses so their daughters could pose next to the sculpture. Men, women, and girls of every color line up every day to have their photo taken with Fearless Girl. A thrill to watch, these people with smiles on their faces, their shoulder thrown back, chests puffed out linking arms with our girl and assuming the strong Wonder Woman pose.

Originally slated as a 4 day promotion, our girl remains a year later, testimony to the need for a symbol of equality. The original message was one of the necessary inclusion of women in the male dominant Wall Street community. We chose a young girl which served to make a statement about the importance of women in business tomorrow.

Let’s take a look at a few very interesting facts that support women in business and that can be found in recent gender diversity studies:

• Catalyst Research: Companies with a higher percentage of women in executive positions have a 34% higher total return to shareholders than those who do not.

• Catalyst Research: Companies with the most women directors outperform those with the least on return on invested capital by 26%.


The report found higher financial performance for companies with greater representation of women board directors in three important measures:
• Return on Equity: On average, companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53 percent.

• Return on Sales: On average, companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 42 percent.
• Return on Invested Capital: On average, companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 66%.

MSCI Inc.: Studied the financial performance of U.S. companies from 2011-2016 and found that those with at least three women on the board had median gains in return on equity 11% higher, and earnings per share 45% higher, than companies with no women directors.

Are you catching the drift here? For decades women have fought to assert themselves as equals in the work place to the tune of only marginal success. Now, in a discussion presented by numerous gender diversity studies and publicized by a global conversation initiated by State Street Global Advisors, we have proof positive that

women are critical to a business’s success.

So, in light of this information, it is imperative that business management read these gender diversity studies. The studies themselves provide irrefutable evidence supporting the inclusion of women in business and, specifically, at the decision making level. Additional studies show that those companies who set out to be diverse often fail. The act of apprising one’s self of the information gender diversity studies convey goes a long way towards driving home the point in support of women in business.

Yet, actually achieving diversity comes from focusing on finding the best person for the job, regardless of gender or race.

Do yourself a favor and get the facts. Read the studies!

The current #MeToo movement is evidence of a gross societal imbalance born of socialization by antiquated ideas. These very same ideas have ensured that women fill the majority of caretaker roles and men the lion’s share of decision making positions. Traditionally, women have been seen as the weaker sex, easily overcome and somehow less deserving of their own dignity. Men, as the alpha male always in charge, the head of the household. The answer is to teach our children mutual gender respect from a young age through educational programs catered to encourage kids to rely on the opposite sex in making decisions. We must help our children understand that genders are co-dependent, necessitating both sexes weigh in on decisions regarding the global good.

The focus should be on how men and women complement one another. Understanding gender balance breeds mutual admiration, fostering healthy interpersonal relationships and a productive and rewarding community.

How can we evolve and impact the injustices against women if we don’t first teach respect and appreciation? After all, one would never abuse someone they respected, would they?

The benefits of working together, the positive effect each gender has on society and the increased success both sexes experience through gender collaboration is the message we must send. Fostering a separation of gender by movements which encourage anger and pit men against women and vice versa only serve to drive a wedge between the sexes, preventing us from achieving true collaboration and peak well being. If society is taught that man is the superior sex then certain behavior is born of this plane of thought. If, instead, we clearly identify the strengths of each gender and apprise ourselves of the information brought forth through the gender diversity studies, these old ideas of gender superiority and inferiority simply crumble. They are no longer valid. Both genders are necessary in all arenas of life. That is the basic premise. There is no time for resentments, we have a world to save from gross injustices such as sex trafficking, sexual mutilation, and sexual abuse. Don’t forget, it’s not just about women. 1 in 6 men experience sexual abuse before age 18. ( We need to pull together to affect change. For the sake of us all, spreading the messages of diversity and collaboration to the farthest and most remote corners of the earth is imperative.

Teaching our young gender respect is our greatest tool to evolution.

Fearless Girl is a symbol of collaboration. In fact, though I gave our project a face, Fearless Girl is the result of a committee of 30 people, men and women, collaborating for the best result. We got it! Fearless Girl has become the reminder that all of us have something to contribute to the mix: men, women, white, black, yellow, every shade between and of every religious denomination. It’s time to lose our prejudice and evolve, for the health and growth of our global society. Remember, we are all born into this world without prejudice. Prejudice is unwittingly taught to us by our parents, our teachers, the communities we grow up in. What is prejudice if not a fear of the unfamiliar? A lack of information? Your religion is wrong but, mine is right. It makes no sense and can not be logical. We are in the 21st century. Let’s move forward!

Let’s evolve to embrace collaboration for a better community.

In addition to the gender diversity studies, there are studies which demonstrate the differences in brain chemistry between men and women when making decisions. Guess what? Men and women are different. Really different! The key is to understand that we need each other in order to function at peak level, we need all of the lessons and ideas generated from different cultural backgrounds and different genders. We need to bounce these ideas and views off one another in order to reach the best decision.

Case and point: The Brainscape web site discusses the differences between men and women under stress, specifically the way genders differ in responding to the stress hormone cortisol. It seems that decision making in women improves under stress with women cutting their losses while risk taking increases in men under the same stress. Certainly, the more reserved approach of women under stress would temper the increased risk taking of men in the same situation. The result? A better decision. A BALANCED decision. ( )

In 2014 Psychology Today published an article on the neurological differences between the brains of men versus women (
Though there are exceptions to the rule at every turn, generally speaking, brain chemistry sets genders up for typical behaviors. Each of these behaviors, the article points out, having both positive and negative repercussions. Scientists have found a hundred differences in brain chemistry between genders but, in the article, they focus on four major areas:

Processing: Males use 7 times more gray matter and women use 10 times more white matter resulting in males often having a tunnel like vision and women tending to multi-task.

Chemistry: We process the chemicals oxytocin (a chemical which fosters communication), estrogen, testosterone and serotonin differently as men and women and the result is that women are able to sit still for longer periods of time and men tend to be more aggressive and impulsive. Important, lets say, in an industry requiring one to capitalize on an opportunity quickly such as an opportunity one might find in the financial arena.

Structural Differences: Women have a larger hippocampus and more neural connections into the hippocampus which makes them more “sensorial” and emotive. The layout of the male and female brain from left to right is different too with females having verbal centers on both sides of the brain. Men have verbal centers only on the left side of the brain. The result? Women tend to use more words.

Blood Flow And Brain Activity: Women, using more white matter have more blood flowing through the brain making them better at processing emotions and revisiting emotive memories. Men, on the other hand, will analyze an emotive memory briefly and then frequently move on to a non-emotional activity. The article points out an observer might think a man too quickly moves on to the problem solving. However, it also points out that it is important to understand that this is simply the way the brain works in most men.

So, looking at the scientific evidence that clearly points out the differences between men and women, would you rather move forward on a decision made solely by one gender or, would you prefer a decision based on the innate qualities of BOTH genders? This is science, read it!

I recently participated in the Day Of The Girl event in Paris, a UN sanctioned celebration of the girl child born 5 years ago and brought into being by the tireless lobbying of Plan International, a children’s advocacy group operating in more than 70 countries. 12 women were asked to mentor the girl ambassadors chosen from each country to attend. I listened to the women and 10 of 12 of us came from homes like my own where we were supported and encouraged by our parents. I am the daughter of a diplomat and a very strong and independent artist mother. I learned through example and my parents treated their children with absolute equality. In fact, I remember sitting on my father’s lap as a child and hearing repeatedly- despite my incessant inquiry- that I could do and be ANYTHING I wanted to be. My father never put a cap on my future. It’s not that we, the ten mentors with similar backgrounds, didn’t have struggles to overcome but, it seems, we were better equipped to deal with these hurdles later in life due to parental support at a young age which fostered

the belief that we could OVERCOME; we could be anything we wanted to be.

This kind of encouragement, it seems to me, is the very first building block to success. Have you encouraged your child, your sister, your nephew today? Indeed, these women mentors at the Day Of The Girl event had forged their own paths, despite the obstacles. Tireless, un-limiting support at a young age will teach our children, BOTH GIRLS AND BOYS, to meet and overcome any challenge which presents itself. It doesn’t mean these kids won’t achieve despite the lack of support but, they will have a heck of a better chance at success with the support.

Before closing, I want to mention, I recently read an article forwarded to me by a friend. In it, the author states that if Fearless Girl is moved, the bull will move with her as Fearless Girl cannot stand alone. In some regards, I’d like to point out that this philosophy perfectly supports the argument of gender collaboration however, the point is that this little girl of lesser strength and size can stand up to any challenge in her life. You see, it’s not the size that matters but, the cleverness, the determination, the preparation that wins the battle. Do all of us involved with Fearless Girl wish she’d remain with Charging Bull? Absolutely. The message sent last International Women’s Day was a strong one and our figure, representing all women, demanded inclusion in the Wall Street community which has traditionally, by many accounts, made it tough for women to rise up the corporate ladder. In retaliation to the article I read I say:

Yes. Fearless Girl can stand alone. However, the two sculptures together serve as a marker of societal evolution: the exact moment diversity entered the global conscience.

I’d hate to lose that. If the sculptures were to be moved, it would be my hope that this move would be temporary and that the sculptures would be returned to Bowling Green Park. After all, the sculptures are now a part of history. Realize, we actually extended the park just enough to incorporate Fearless Girl. The cobblestone was matched and we went to a great deal of trouble to ensure our girl looked as if she’d always been there.

So many people have explained what they feel Fearless Girl means. I’ve heard so many different ideas. A successful piece of art always inspires conversation and debate and I am happy to hear the varied thoughts. I’d like to again clarify exactly what Fearless Girl stands for.

Created In Celebration Of Women

To support women in leadership positions, empowerment of women, women’s education, gender equality, the reduction of prejudice in the work place through education, equal pay for women, and the general well-being of women.

In this past year, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking before several groups. Always a pleasure but, it occurred to me that most of these are groups of women. Women know what they’re capable of. It’s the men I need to be speaking to. Fearless Girl is not a threat. She is a reminder that

Women are an undervalued resource!

Perhaps it is groups of men I need to be speaking in front of? I’ve also encountered men who blindly lump Fearless Girl into that “Women’s Rights Stuff”. These men always seem shocked when I explain that I am particularly fond of men and always have been. It’s not about division. It’s about unison. Moving forward together in unison because we’ve evolved enough as a society to understand we are more effective together.

In light of all that we have learned in this past year, it would be nice to think that people were driven by a need to do the “right thing” by inclusion of women but, at the risk of sounding pessimistic, modern culture is much more likely swayed by the almighty dollar. That works in our favor. Certainly, if profits have anything to do with it, diversity will most certainly be achieved.