The mayor of Paris is being fined nearly $110,000 by the national government after she appointed too many women to senior government positions, god forbid.
The fine is the result of a 2012 law meant to correct gender imbalances, which stipulated that no more than 60 percent of one gender can be appointed to high-ranking jobs in a single year. A 2019 amendment made it so that fines wouldn’t be handed out if a disproportionate number of men or women were hired, as long as the “overall gender balance” was respected, the New York Times reports. But the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, did the hiring in 2018, and therefore had to be punished.
Hidalgo said she would deliver the check to the Ministry of Public Service by hand, accompanied by the women in her government—“so there will be many of us,” she said. Too many, some might argue!
But Hidalgo, who was elected in 2014 and reelected last year, is taking the fine as a sign of progress. “Today I am going to rejoice that we have been sentenced to a fine,” she said during a city council meeting on Tuesday. “It is with joy, shared with many others, that I learned last week that the city of Paris had to pay a 90,000 euro fine.”
And yet, women still only comprise 47 percent of senior executive roles, and female city officials are paid 6 percent less than their male counterparts. Sadly, the rule change was too late to avoid the fine, and there’s simply nothing anyone can do about that, apparently.
France’s public service minister, Amélie de Montchalin, called the penalty “absurd,” tweeting, “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.”