You'll Be So Inspired By Paris’s First Female Mayor

You'll Be So Inspired By Paris’s First Female Mayor

Credit: Philippe Wojazer

“I am the first woman mayor of Paris. I am aware of the challenge.”

Anne Hidalgo is more than just the first woman to hold office as Mayor of Paris. Five years into her tenure, she’s stronger and more resilient than ever.

We’d love to spend a day in her shoes. So in honor of International Women's Day and Women's History Month, we dug our heels in to bring you 5 essential (and unique) things you should know about this French-Spanish powerhouse:

She’s French… and Spanish

Born Ana Maria, she legally changed her name to “Anne” when she became a French citizen at age 14, eager to embrace her dual nationality. In fact, many believe Hidalgo’s immigrant background is what gives her a political edge to unite her city. An active supporter of minority groups in Paris, Hidalgo told USA Today she believes Paris is made stronger by its ethnic diversity.

She’s a trailblazer

With degrees in social services and law, Hidalgo honed in on her political career at an early age.  She served 13 years as deputy mayor under mayor Bertrand Delanoë, the first openly gay mayor in Paris. When Hidalgo ran for mayor in 2014, she was all too familiar with the tests and trials ahead, and stepped into them with open arms.

Her competition was equally as fierce

Elected into office in March 2014, Anne was up against three other female competitors: Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Rachida Dati and Cécile Duflot. Paris welcomed Hidalgo as the city’s first female mayor with 55% of the vote.

Credit: Guillaume Bontemps

She cares about the environment of her city: present and future.

In 2016, Hidalgo introduced the “Paris Breathes” initiative, which bans entering certain parts of the city with a motor vehicle every first Sunday of the month. On that day, all electric buses, other electric vehicles, and the bike rental system are free. She has also created several initiatives to create green spaces within the city to allow for cool, leafy respites from the busy city during warmer months, and for city children to have greener play areas.

Credit: PA

The focus is on her brain, not her personal style

Hidalgo (who lives in the 15th arrondisement of Paris with her husband and their teenage son) has made it clear that she never wants the focus to be on what she looks like, telling Women’s Wear Daily:  "I’m an elected official, not a model. I like a subdued style, not bling bling."

She may be a stylish Parisian, but Hidalgo is respected most for her political acumen and fierce fight for the well-being of her city and its people.

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