Paris Fined for Hiring More Women Than Men in City Government

woman leaning against pillar

The city of Paris was recently fined for hiring too many women in their city government. The Mayor’s office hired 11 women and five men, or 69% of women and 31% of men, defying a law formed in 2012 that mandates no more than 60% of one gender being hired for a civil service position in a year. The law was formed in an effort to achieve gender parity in employment.

The city was fined 90,000 euros, or $109,690, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she is happy about the fine. “In Paris, we are doing everything to make it a success, and I am very proud of women and men who together carry this fight for equality,” said Hidalgo. 

She said she will personally take a check to the Minister of Public Service along with her deputies and women in the office of the town hall, and personally pay the fine in person. At a council meeting, she called the fine “absurd”, “unfair”, and “dangerous.” 

Hidalgo, who is Paris’ first female mayor, says the hiring of women must be a priority because the gender gap in Paris and all over France is wide. She noted, “And so, yes, to promote and one day reach gender equality, we must pick up the pace and ensure that more women are appointed than men.”

Women now hold 47% of senior management positions in the city’s government.

The Realist Woman’s take:

Women always have more to pay when they climb. This story is actually empowering. You have a Mayor who is a feminist and not afraid to show it. She hired these women because they were more than qualified and she wanted them on her team. This many women may have been overlooked for the preference of a man had it been any other Mayor. 

Let’s be honest, how many times do women outnumber men in government jobs? It’s not that often. I understand the law was about bringing fairness in government employment in terms of gender equality and that’s amazing, but to be fined, especially this amount of money is a little ridiculous. 

I love that Mayor Hidalgo is taking this fine in stride, and I admire her attitude and action on this situation.