Nov 9, 2018
Stephen Tisdalle, CMO of State Street Global Advisors, was on the team that made the “Fearless Girl” statue. And although the installation made headlines all over the world, the campaign also prompted State Street Global Advisors to devote themselves to greater gender diversity in their own leadership and on their own boards. On this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite, Stephen shares the internal challenges his team faced when developing the idea, the global reaction to the statue, and how this striking piece of storytelling marketing sparked a global-wide conversation about equality in the workforce.
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The “Charging Bull” statue that lives on Wall Street has been an iconic symbol for decades. On March 7, 2017, SSGA unveiled the “Fearless Girl” statue - a brave young girl that confidently faces the bull. She continues to serve as a symbol for greater diversity on C-suite level boards, and that’s exactly what Stephen and his team were trying to convey. That’s what makes Fearless Girl such a prime example of storytelling marketing - a piece that stands the test of time and represents values that span companies, states, and even nations.
Fearless Girl may have remained a simple statue with a brief amount of fanfare if it hadn’t been for SSGA’s actions that backed up the claims she made. SSGA has committed to increasing the level of diversity in their own boards, as well as encouraging their clients to do the same. Stephen explains to Drew that since her installation, SSGA has found that more than 300 companies added a female director, and to-date another 28 plan to follow suit. Fearless Girl also amassed over 6.5 billion social media impressions. However, if a company’s storytelling marketing campaigns are to leave a persisting impact, they must be backed with action.
The genius behind Fearless Girl lay in her ability to convey values that should be important to companies of all sizes in all industries. Stephen explains that “authenticity is attractive,” and that people are drawn to marketing campaigns that are aligned with important values. He continues by explaining that companies and leaders need to “do well, do better, by doing good.” Storytelling marketing can be the perfect way to convey those commitments.