PARIS -- Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Tuesday that she was "happy to be fined" for breaching a law designed to bring about gender parity in employment. Her office staff comprises 11 women and five men -- which means 69% of appointees are women.
A nationwide decree, in 2012, mandated that no more than 60% of appointments to public service management positions be held by one gender. Any large cities not complying with the decree, are subject to a penalty of 90,000 euros (roughly $109,690).
A recruitment drive by Hidalgo led to 69% of the jobs in her office going to women.
"The City of Paris was fined 90,000 euros because too many female directors were appointed," Hidalgo tweeted Wednesday.
Addressing a council meeting on Tuesday, the Socialist Party mayor called the fine "absurd," "unfair" and "dangerous," and quipped "the management of the City Hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist." Hidalgo will take a check paying the fine to the Minister of Public Service, at the start of 2021, surrounded by her deputies, her service directors and all the women of the general office of the town hall.
According to local daily Le Monde, the Ministry of Public Service made the calculation and decided that, despite "this very high figure strongly contribut(ing) to the feminization of senior management and management jobs" in the city, it results in a non-compliance with the legal objective of "at least 40% of people of each sex," according to the decree.
Yet, the councilor of Paris, Nelly Garnier, said that the 69% of female appointments is not enough. Despite the increase of roles for women at the Paris council, there remains a lack of diversity, she said.
"On the matters of children, it's going to be women. On solidarity, it's going to be women," while finance, housing or transports are still positions mostly filled by men, she said. "We all still have a long way to go," Garnier added.