61-year-old Anne Hildalgo who is the mayor of Paris has been fined €90,000 ($109,369) for appointing “too many women” to senior management positions.
Hidalgo, who has been the mayor since 2014 and is the first woman to hold the office, promoted 11 women and five men in 2018.
This promotion breached a national 2013 rule, known as the “Sauvadet law,” which was designed to bring about gender parity in employment.
The law was implemented in 2018 and it imposes that a minimum rate of representation for men and women in senior management positions in public service, with neither sex permitted to exceed 60%.
Following the City Hall promotion of 11 women and 5 men to the city hall, the mayor has now been fined.
Hidalgo mocked the fine as “unfair” and “absurd” on Tuesday during a meeting of the city council.
“11 women, 5 men … The City of Paris was fined €90,000 because too many female directors were appointed,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo reacted on Twitter .
Hidalgo joked that with “too many women” in management positions, “the management of the City would suddenly become far too feminist.
“I am happy to announce we have been fined,” Hidalgo, of the Socialist party, said during the council meeting on Tuesday. “The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist.”
She then blasted the “bureaucracy” that led to the fine.
“This fine is obviously absurd. Even more, it is unfair, irresponsible, dangerous. Yes, we must promote women with determination and vigor, because the delay everywhere in France is still very great,” she added.
She also highlighted a continuing lag in the promotion of women to senior positions in France and the need to accelerate progress towards parity by appointing more women than men.
Hidalgo said she and her female staff would present the check to pay the fine to the Ministry of Public Service.
“So yes, to promote and one day achieve parity, we must accelerate the tempo and ensure that in the appointments, there are more women than men,” she said.
French Public Service Minister Amélie de Montchalin responded with a tweet noting that the law was changed in 2019, preventing fines for too many men or women in any public office, provided that an overall gender balance was still achieved.
“The cause of women deserves better! We abolished this absurd provision as early as 2019,” de Montchalin, whose own department will collect the fine, wrote.
“I want the fine paid by Paris for 2018 to finance concrete actions to promote women in the civil service. I’m inviting you at the Ministry to speak about it!” she wrote.