Paris authorities hit with 'absurd' $110,000 government fine for adding too many women in senior positions

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty ImagesMayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris.
  • Paris authorities on Tuesday were fined $US110,000 for employing too many women in senior positions in 2018.
  • The authorities put 11 women and five men in senior positions in 2018, meaning that nearly 70% of the appointments went to women. This breached a national law on gender parity.
  • The “Sauvadet law,” repealed in 2019, said no more than 60% of appointments at senior levels should go to one gender.
  • Mayor Anne Hidalgo called the fine “absurd, unfair, irresponsible, and dangerous.”
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France’s public-service ministry on Tuesday fined Paris city authorities 90,000 euros, or about $US110,000, for adding too many women to senior positions in 2018.

The authorities broke national rules on gender parity in 2018 when they appointed 11 women and five men to senior positions, meaning that nearly 70% of the appointments went to women.

The “Sauvadet law,” which was enacted in 2013 but repealed six years later, required no more than 60% of appointments to management positions in public service to go to one gender,Euronews reported Tuesday.

The rule was meant to ensure that more women within the civil service were promoted to senior levels, per Euronews.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a city-council meeting Tuesday that she would take the check to the French government in person. The deputy mayors and other female staff members would accompany her, Hidalgo added.

“I am happy to announce that we have been fined,” Hidalgo, who has served as the city’s mayor since 2014, joked in the meeting. “The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist.”

Hidalgo described the fine as “absurd, unfair, irresponsible, and dangerous.”

“Yes, we need to promote women with determination and vigour because everywhere, France is still lagging behind,” she said.

“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.


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France’s public-service minister, Amelie de Montchalin, tweeted Tuesday that a fine had been levied for the authorities breaking the rules in 2018. The rule was repealed in 2019, she added.

“I want the fine paid by Paris for 2018 to finance concrete actions to promote women in the public service. I invite you to the ministry to discuss them!” she tweeted in response to Hidalgo’s post.

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