For breaching a national rule (Sauvadet law) designed to bring about gender parity in employment, Paris town hall has been fined €90,000 by the public service ministry for appointing too many women into senior roles.
A decision Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo mocked by branding it “absurd”.
One of the aims of the “Sauvadet law”, which came into force in 2013 was to ensure that more women within the civil service were promoted to management level by ensuring no more than 60 per cent of management appointments can be occupied by appointees of the same gender.
However, in 2018, Anne Hidalgo appointed 11 women to leadership positions in the Paris town hall, compared to five men, thus making up 69 per cent of appointees.
“This fine is obviously absurd. What’s more, it is unfair, irresponsible and dangerous,” Hidalgo, who has been at the helm of the French capital since 2014, told the city council.
“We must promote women with determination and vigour because the gap everywhere in France is still very large. So yes, in order to achieve parity one day, it is necessary to speed up the tempo and make sure that in the nominations there are more women than men,” she added.
She also said that she would bring the cheque to the ministry herself, flanked by her female deputies and senior staff.
France’s Public Service Minister Amélie de Montchalin responded on Twitter, pointing out that the law had been changed since 2018.
She invited Ms Hidalgo to discuss how to promote women in public service and said the fine would go towards “concrete actions”.
Anne Hidalgo is the first female mayor of Paris, she served as deputy to Bertrand Delanoë for 13 years.