Several Paradox Interactive employees describe an environment that “accepted” harassment.
New reports from Eurogamer and the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet detail further allegations of a misogynist culture in the workplace at Paradox Interactive, the studio behind strategic titles including Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron. The report comes just over a month after a survey of Paradox employees in which 69% of women surveyed reported some form of mistreatment while working at the company.
One incident mentioned in the report includes hiring a senior manager with a reputation for “unwelcome approaches and harassment” in his previous firm. A former employee of that firm, who resigned for the harassment she suffered, secured a settlement of nearly SEK 270,000 ($ 30,700) in 2016, just months before the manager was hired at Paradox. He retained “a leading role” until two months ago, according to the report.
Other forms of mistreatment mentioned in the report are more subtle. Several sources have stated that the company is “clearly dominated by men“and women”they face different treatment from their male counterparts“. Report an interview with an employee:”I’ve been to meetings where I was the only woman in the room. At my ‘Hey, I really think we should hire more women, based on my experience’, someone looks at me and says, ‘You know what, you’re just here as a symbolic assumption. So I think you should shut up ‘“.
Paradox did not adequately address these issues, according to one employee, because the management structure is primarily focused on pleasing senior management rather than supporting workers and addressing systemic issues. A similar sentiment was expressed in the employee survey, which stated: “There is a perception that the culprits at the managerial level are protected by the company“There is also a reluctance to speak out due to the small size of the Swedish video game industry.” Everyone knows everyone, “said another woman, making it difficult to maintain confidentiality.
A Paradox representative said the company took the results of the leaked employee survey seriously, although he also pointed out that it was an “informal” study based on a “limited sample” of employees. However, an external company was hired to investigate the behavior of Paradox executives and employees.