“Too feminist” – Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s mocking response after being told she’d broken the law by hiring too many women for her management team.
Eleven women and five men had been given the jobs in 2018, breaching a national 2013 rule designed to bring about gender parity in employment.
The Paris authorities are being fined €90,000 ($109,000; £81,000) by the public service ministry.
“I am happy to announce we have been fined,” Ms Hidalgo said.
The 2013 rule meant no more than 60% of appointments to management positions in public service should go to one sex. Ms Hidalgo’s recruitment drive saw 69% of the jobs go to women.
Addressing a council meeting, the Socialist mayor joked: “The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist.”
But she also highlighted a continuing lag in the promotion of women to senior positions in France and the need to accelerate progress towards parity by appointing more women than men.
“This fine is obviously absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous,” she said.
France’s Public Service Minister Amélie de Montchalin responded on Twitter, pointing out that the law had been changed since 2018.
In 2019, fines were dropped for hiring too many women, or too many men, as long as the overall gender balance was not affected.
She invited Ms Hidalgo to discuss how to promote women in public service and said the fine would go towards “concrete actions”.