Q : The Quai d’Orsay was recently criticized for its delay in implementing the Sauvadet Law on providing women with access to the highest-ranking positions in your ministry. How do you respond to that?
A : Even before 2012 and since the passage of the Sauvadet Law, the Quai d’Orsay has been actively striving for parity. Today this translates into women occupying more than 30% of its senior positions (ambassadorial positions as well as those of directors and deputy directors). We have doubled the number of female ambassadors in the past 5 years, bringing their number to 46. The ministry is especially attentive to this, and percentage of first-time female appointments to ambassadorships is 35%.
This proactive policy has also been seen in the increased number of women receiving promotions, including at the highest level (foreign affairs counselors and plenipotentiaries). It is vital to the formation of a talent pool.
In addition, the ministry is working to ensure respect for the work-life balance (through the adoption of its time policy, the expansion of telework, etc.) and by providing support for the geographical mobility of its employees (the establishment of the Delegation on Families in September 2016 to foster the education of children and spousal access to the work market; the signing of bilateral agreements to make it easier for spouses to work).
The ministry, which intends to maintain its efforts over the long term, obtained the professional gender equality certification (AFNOR) in late 2017. Apart from its legal obligations, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is committed to guaranteeing parity among its employees and equality in its practices.