Elected condemned for appointing too many women: must the law be changed?


"I had to twist the arm of the public service who wanted neither objective nor financial sanction! "Questioned by the Parisian, Francois Sauvadet always defends his 2012 law to move towards parity in the most important positions in the public service.

But was he afraid of such a consequence, seven years later? The president of the Bourg-en-Bresse agglomeration community, Jean-François Debat, has just been fined 90,000 euros. His wrong? To have named … too many women, four out of the last five positions.

The prefecture of Ain has only scrupulously respected the legislation. This law called "Sauvadet" requires since January 1, 2017 to appoint between 40 and 60% of people of each sex in management positions. In other words, there is no question of choosing a large majority of men … or women!

Lille, already convicted for appointing too many women

18 agglomerations (including Bourg-en-Bresse) and 6 ministries have been fined in 2017, according to the 2018 report "the implementation of the balanced appointment mechanism". But in the vast majority of cases, it is the quota of men that has been higher than 60%. Only the city of Lille, and therefore the agglomeration community of Bourg-en-Bresse, have been sanctioned for having appointed too many women.

The report points to two possible explanations for these imbalances: some agglomerations would not have anticipated the transition to 40% of women's appointments by 1 January 2017, and others would have missed a "pool" of female recruitment. A second argument that collapses totally in the case of Bourg-en-Bresse. For the rest, Jean-François Debat tells us that he was "not aware" of risking any sanction. "I might have feared if I had named four men and a woman," he argues.

But why set an upper limit of 60%, regardless of sex? "The idea was to reach parity, not to give primacy to the woman or the man. The goal needs to be gradual, and I did not mean to tell men back then Move along, there's nothing to see, and to exclude them while they had made all their career in the administration ", defends François Sauvadet today.

However, the law seems to have partly achieved its goal of moving closer to parity. The percentage of women among the "prino-appointed" agents, that is to say, those who obtain their first function in the administration, increased between 2013 and 2017 from 32 to 36%. In detail, 36% of public servants are civil servants, 34% of whom are in the territorial public service, and 49% in the public hospital service, which has fewer staff members. This increased the proportion of women in management positions to 30% in 2017, compared to 27% in 2015.

How to make the law "more efficient"?

But we are still far from the target of 40%. Should we not, for example, get rid of fines if agglomerations appoint too many women, and keep them in case of a massive recruitment of men? This is not the opinion of the former Minister of the Public Service. "I am very attached to this rule of 60/40%. We must both get closer to parity and be careful not to achieve surfeminization in certain trades, which would not be healthy either, "said François Sauvadet. "We never wonder about feminization for lower-paying jobs, such as nurses," replies Céline Piques, spokesperson for Dare Feminism.

The association calls on parliamentarians to abolish the fine for women's recruitment, saying it would not go against the constitutional principle of "equality before the law". "To arrive at an overall average of parity, we must name a lot of women in certain places," argues the activist.

The State Secretary for Gender Equality, Marlene Schiappa, presented this week her bill for "the economic empowerment of women". His entourage is content today to remind us "his intention to work on a change in quotas to make them more effective."

While waiting for a possible adaptation of the legislation, Jean-François Debat intends to file a gracious appeal with the government. Marlène Schiappa asked the Ministry of the Interior if a development was possible, especially since the agglomeration community of Bourg-en-Bresse was created 2017. "This is a singular situation, and I trust the wisdom of the administration to settle this, "wants to believe François Sauvadet. And Jean-François Debat grieves: "Otherwise, the signal would be counterproductive for the integration of women. "

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