The games industry is in quite a state right now. After Riot, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard and others, Sony Interactive Entertainment is the latest company to face allegations of gender discrimination after a former IT security analyst filed a lawsuit against the publisher and console maker. The lawsuit was filed in California on Monday, November 22, 2021, according to Axios, and includes allegations of wrongful termination.
Former Sony Interactive Entertainment IT security analyst Emma Majo joined the company in 2015. At the time, their division ratio was 3: 2, men to women, but the gap between them grew larger as the years went by. Some managers (Director of Product Security Yuu Sugita specifically named in the lawsuit) would not speak to female colleagues when male colleagues were in the same room. These managers allegedly only respond to queries from male employees and some have reportedly also made discriminatory comments. Majo says she has been overlooked for promotions several times in the six years she was with Sony.
Sony has not yet commented on the lawsuit, although Majo claims in the lawsuit that Sony was fired because an internal division was closed, but claims not to have been part of that division at the time. Instead, Majo says she was fired after filing a gender bias complaint with Sony and that her complaint was not properly investigated.
Majo now plans to expand the lawsuit into a class action on behalf of nearly 40 other women who have worked at Sony over the past four years. She alleges that Sony has violated the United States’ Equal Pay Act, stating that “Sony discriminates against female employees, including women and women, in compensation and promotion, and subjects them to a male-dominated work culture.” She also claims, “Sony has failed to respond appropriately or adequately to evidence and complaints about discrimination. “
The allegations are the latest in a series of controversies that are rocking the gaming world and describing the unsavory working conditions at many different studios including Telltale Games, BioWare, Rockstar Games, Riot Games, Naughty Dog, Ubisoft, Paradox Interactive and Quantic Dream. The best known of these currently are the persistent consequences of malpractice and toxic work culture issues at Activision. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has even shared comments with Xbox boss Phil Spencer and Nintendo boss Doug Bowser that Activision is not addressing these issues, but it seems like Sony itself isn’t entirely innocent.[Source: Axios]