A sexism lawsuit against Sony’s PlayStation division in the United States that the company had sought to dismiss has ended up intensifying as more women have stepped forward with their negative experiences working in various offices. The lawsuit was originally filed last November by former IT security analyst Emma Majo, who alleged that PlayStation fostered a culture that’s hostile towards women. According to Axios, Majo’s claims were backed up by eight more women, including 16-year Sony veteran Marie Harrington.
Why PlayStation sexism lawsuit has been filed
“I believe Sony is not equipped to appropriately handle toxic environments,” former program manager Kara Johnson said in her statement. According to Johnson, at least ten women had quit PlayStation’s Rancho Bernardo office in California in the months leading up to her departure. She included a letter that she had shared with other female employees at the time, in which she mentioned repeated attempts to notify the management about gender bias, discrimination against pregnant women, and the non-willingness of a senior HR executive – a male – to look into these complaints.
Harrington claimed that women were deliberately overlooked for promotions during what Sony called “calibration sessions.” In one session, the company considered 70 males and only four women for promotion. In 2018, she emailed her superiors about women being bullied at PlayStation, linking them to an article about Nike being called out by its female employees for rampant sexism. “Can we address this before PlayStation has its own national news article?” Harrington wrote in said email.
Axios quoted another woman, whose name has been withheld, as saying that a third-party investigation found “great imbalance in terms of employee distribution” in her team. Sony has not responded to any of the recent claims.
Opinion: Action instead of denial would serve Sony better
Zarmena writes… Corporate lawyers are naturally inclined to deny adverse claims because that’s what they’re paid to do, but Sony needs to read the room. It’s 2022, not 2012, and denying that a problem exists is only going to blow up in its face. Instead of dismissing these women, the company should investigate their allegations and deploy appropriate measures to address their concerns. Improving workplace culture isn’t a bad thing, masking toxicity is. The next time Jim Ryan goes on record to talk about toxicity plaguing the games industry, he should look inwards as well.
In other news, Gran Turismo 7’s first post-launch patch adds new features, and the original Dying Light has received a PS5 update.