Paris city authorities have been fined for hiring too many women in senior positions, a decision ridiculed Tuesday by Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
The fine of € 90,000 (£ 81,000) was demanded by the French Civil Service Ministry on the grounds that the Paris City Hall had violated national rules on gender parity in its 2018 workforce.
“I am happy to report that we have been fined,” Socialist Party member Hidalgo said at a city council meeting, adding that she was overjoyed when she learned of the sanction.
Hidalgo said she was criticized because 11 women and only five men were appointed to senior mayoral positions in 2018, which means 69% of appointments went to women.
“The management of the town hall has suddenly become far too feminist,” said Hidalgo, reelected for a new term at the head of Paris last year.
According to the text of the judgment cited by Le Monde, the town hall violated a rule dating from 2013 which stipulates that a gender must not represent more than 60% of appointments to management positions.
Hidalgo said she would take the check for the fine to the government in person, along with her deputies to the mayor and all the women who work for her.
Taking a more serious tone, she added: “This fine is obviously absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous”, adding that women in France should be promoted with “vigor because the delay everywhere in France is still very great”.
“Yes, to achieve parity one day, we need to step up the pace and ensure that more women are appointed than men,” she said.
Responding on Twitter, the French Minister of Public Service, Amélie de Montchalin, of the ruling La République en Marche party, admitted that the fine had been levied for 2018.
Since then, the absurd rule of parity in management has been repealed, she noted.
“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 it, ”she said in a message to Hidalgo.