In November, former PlayStation IT security analyst Emma Majo filed a lawsuit against Sony, alleging that the company discriminated against women on an institutional level. Majo alleges she was fired because she spoke out about gender stereotypes at the studio, noting that she was terminated shortly after sending a signed statement to management detailing details of the sexism she experienced there.
Majo then filed paperwork to turn her case into a class action, and just last month Sony tried to drop the whole thing, arguing that her allegations were too vague to may be subject to legal scrutiny. Additionally, Sony’s attorneys said, no other women have come to terms with similar claims.
Today, eight more women join the lawsuit against Sony. The new plaintiffs are current and former employees, and only one of them has chosen to remain anonymous. One plaintiff, Marie Harrington, worked at Sony for 17 years and eventually became senior director of program management and chief human resources officer to Senior Vice President of Engineering George Cacciopo.
“When I left Sony, I told SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer Rachel Ghadban in the Rancho Bernardo office that the reason I left Sony was systemic sexism against women,” Harrington said in a previous statement. court. “The HR director simply said, ‘I understand.’ She didn’t ask for any more information. I’ve spoken to the HR director several times in the past about sexism against women.”
Harrington claims that women are looked down upon in promotions and says that during annual reviews, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s technical leaders rarely discuss how female employees are “effective people.” high capacity”. She said that during their April 2019 session, only four of the 70 employees under review were women, and while all men in this group were rated as high-performing, only two of them are women.
“Furthermore, when two of the women were discussed, the managers spent time discussing the fact that they were married,” Harrington’s statement read. “Family status is never discussed for any male.”
The remaining women shared similar stories in their speeches, with common themes being a lack of promotion opportunities for female employees and a systematic bias towards male employees. The plaintiffs allege that male leaders at Sony made derogatory comments, including “you just have to marry rich,” and “I find that in general, women can’t take criticism.”
One plaintiff alleges that during a business trip to E3, her superiors tricked her into drinking with him at the hotel bar, beat her even when she refused, and told other employees that ” He’s going to try to get there.” “” Another plaintiff shared the story of a gender equality meeting at Sony that had a panel of five, all men.
The lawsuit against Sony comes at a time of considerable consideration by many major video game studios, including Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft and Riot Games. Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit and multiple investigations into claims of institutional sexism, sexual harassment and sexism, which Ubisoft has long faced similar allegation from current and former employees. Riot Games paid 100 million dollars in December to settle a class-action lawsuit over sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Sony has yet to respond to the latest move in the class action lawsuit, although it denies Majo’s sexist claims. The company has asked to dismiss the lawsuit and that will be decided in a hearing in April.
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