Paris mayor is fined for promoting too many women, breaking gender parity law

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The socialist mayor of Paris, France, seems relatively unconcerned about a $100,000-plus (i.e., 90,000 euros) fine that the city must pay for violating the country’s gender parity/affirmative action law.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo told her colleagues on the city council in an apparently mocking manner that “I am happy to announce we have been fined. The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist,” implying perhaps that levy — which presumably for which the taxpayers are on the hook — was tantamount to a badge of honor.

She went on to say, however, that “This fine is obviously absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous.”

The Hidalgo administration reportedly got into trouble for contravening a law then in effect that required civil service appointments doled out by at least 40 percent each to men and women.

City Hall reportedly promoted 11 women (69 percent) and five men to top-level posts in 2018, prompting the financial sanction. The law was waived the following year as long as new hires avoid creating a gender imbalance.

Hidalgo and her female appointees plan to visit the country’s Ministry of Public Service to personally hand over the check. In a bow to PC, the current minister has promised that the six-figure fine would go toward “concrete actions” to improve gender parity in France.

“Yes, we must promote women with determination and vigor, because the delay everywhere in France is still very great,” the left-wing mayor who was re-elected this year added in her public remarks that sought to justify her hiring decisions and further champion affirmative action for women and correct what she perceives as a gender imbalance.

“So yes, to promote and one day achieve parity, we must speed up the tempo and ensure that in the nominations there are more women than men. In Paris, we are doing everything to make it a success, and I am very, very proud of a large team of women and men who carry together this fight for equality.”

Hidalgo’s remarks omitted addressing skill, work ethic, experience, or competency of the people that are populating her administration. In a rational scenario — and hiring in both the public and private sectors admittedly can often be arbitrary for various reasons —  those could be the most important qualities, regardless of the gender of the applicant and gender-related bean counting.

In the halls of the Paris government, women supposedly comprise less than 50 percent of the senior-level jobs and make 6 percent less than their male counterparts.

Parenthetically, over the years, France has developed a reputation of harboring a lethargic bureaucracy that has inhibited efficiency and prosperity.

On this side of the Atlantic, Democrat Joe Biden similarly seems to be intent on choosing members of his purported cabinet on the basis of identity politics.

 

Robert Jonathan

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