The mayor of Paris has branded as “absurd” a €90,000 ($109,369) fine imposed for appointing “too many women” to management positions.
Eleven women and five men were promoted in City Hall in 2018, breaching a national 2013 rule, known as the “Sauvadet law,” which was designed to bring about gender parity in employment.
“11 women, 5 men … The City of Paris was fined 90,000 euros because too many female directors were appointed,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Hidalgo joked that with with “too many women” in management positions, “the management of the City would suddenly become far too feminist,” and derided the undiscerning “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 said.
Hidalgo said she and her female staff would present the check to pay the fine to the Ministry of Public Service, and called for further action to achieve gender parity.
“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.
Implemented in 2013, the Sauvadet law imposed a minimum rate of representation for men and women in senior management positions in public service, with neither sex permitted to exceed 60%.
France’s Public Service Minister, Amélie de Montchalin addressed the controversy on Twitter, noting that the provision in the law that allowed the fine was abolished in 2019.
“The cause of women deserves better! We abolished this absurd provision as early as 2019,” de Montchalin, whose own department will collect the retrospective 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.
CNN’s Pierre Bairin and Gaëlle Fournier contributed to this report.