Eight former and current employees of PlayStation owner Sony Interactive Entertainment have come forward with their accounts of sexist treatment within the company, Axios has reported.
The women’s statements strengthen the existing lawsuit against Sony from former IT security analyst Emma Majo, who first filed the suit in November. Majo claims that she was unjustly fired after complaining about the sexist and hostile workplace.
Sony has denied Majo’s claims, stating that Majo “fails to identify a single policy, practice or procedure at [PlayStation] that allegedly formed the basis of any widespread intentional discrimination or had a discriminatory impact on women.” In February, they asked the court to toss Majo’s suit over the lack of specific facts.
The additional accusations—seven former employees and one current one—describe a widespread account of untoward behavior, ranging from demeaning comments and unwelcome advances to ignoring their ideas and an uneven promotion process between male and female employees.
Marie Harrington, a Sony PlayStation veteran, talks in her statement about a lack of women being considered for senior roles. She highlights a moment when only four women were considered for promotions compared to the 70 men also in consideration. She mentions that comments were made about the women’s family lives that were not made about the men.
Back in 2018, Harrington linked a New York Times article about toxic males within Nike’s workplace and asked, “Can we address this before PlayStation has its own national news article?”
Kara Johnson, a former program manager, wrote in her statement, “I believe Sony is not equipped to appropriately handle toxic environments.” She further discusses 10 women who left her former office in Rancho Bernardo in the time preceding her own departure, which she alleges emphasized the systemic problems within the company.
Johnson’s statement also details a letter she wrote for female employees prior to her departure that explained her various attempts to notify her superiors about gender bias, alleged discrimination against pregnant women, and the resistance of a senior male in HR to act on her information.
Stephen Totillo, who broke the news at Axios, took to Twitter after the story was published to elaborate further on the accusations. Perhaps most damning were the accounts of “an all-male gender diversity panel” and of “a woman who put a checkmark in a notebook every time she was interrupted in a meeting (12-15 times per meeting).”
Back in November, PlayStation was among the critical voices against the alleged sexual harrasment that has plagued Activision Blizzard. PlayStation has yet to respond to the new accusations.