PlayStation Sexism Lawsuit Grows, As Eight More Woman Share Allegations

Last Novem­ber, a for­mer IT secu­ri­ty ana­lyst at PlaySta­tion filed a law­suit against the com­pa­ny, accus­ing it of gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion and wrong­ful ter­mi­na­tion after she raised con­cerns “about dis­crim­i­na­tion against females.” Sony asked the courts to dis­miss her claims on the grounds of lack of evi­dence, caus­ing eight more women to step for­ward with their own accounts of sex­ist treat­ment while work­ing for the company.

Accord­ing to Axios, the accounts include alle­ga­tions of demean­ing com­ments, unwel­come advances, a lack of atten­tion paid to their work or ideas,” as well as  “a sense that it was hard­er for women to be pro­mot­ed in the com­pa­ny.” These alle­ga­tions come short­ly after Sony denied “any wide­spread inten­tion­al discrimination.”

One of the women who came forward–PlayStation vet­er­an Marie Harrington–claimed women were con­sid­ered for senior roles dur­ing the com­pa­ny’s “cal­i­bra­tion ses­sions.” Har­ring­ton detailed one of these meet­ings, say­ing that  “only four women were con­sid­ered for pro­mo­tions, com­pared to near­ly 70 men.” She also described hear­ing com­ments about “female can­di­dates’ fam­i­ly lives that weren’t made about male can­di­dates.” Back in 2018, Har­ring­ton report­ed­ly sent a New York Times arti­cle about women revolt­ing against the tox­ic male envi­ron­ment at Nike to her co-work­ers, writ­ing, “Can we address this before PlaySta­tion has its own nation­al news article?”

Kara John­son, a for­mer pro­gram man­ag­er at PlaySta­tion, offered her own account of dis­crim­i­na­tion while work­ing at the com­pa­ny. Accord­ing to John­son, she was one of 10 women over a peri­od of four months who left her office in Ran­cho Bernar­do, Cal­i­for­nia after report­ing sys­temic issues with the way she and her female col­leagues were treat­ed. Her tes­ti­mo­ny includes a let­ter shared by John­son with oth­er female employ­ees when she left PlaySta­tion in Jan­u­ary. The let­ter states she made “repeat­ed attempts to noti­fy supe­ri­ors about gen­der bias” and “alleged dis­crim­i­na­tion against preg­nant women” only to be met with “resis­tance from a senior man in HR to act on these accounts.” In the end, John­son wrote she believes Sony sim­ply “is not equipped to appro­pri­ate­ly han­dle tox­ic environments.”

Stephen Toti­lo, the Axios reporter who first broke the sto­ry, tweet­ed even more con­text to this saga short­ly after the arti­cle’s pub­li­ca­tion. This includes ““An account of an all-male gen­der diver­si­ty pan­el” and tes­ti­mo­ny of a woman who “put a check­mark in a note­book every time she was inter­rupt­ed in a meet­ing (12–15 times per meeting).”

I am a Platinum lover and an ex- Cod-aholic. I've been playing games since I was 5 years old and I refuse to quit, despite my mother's attempts to get me to. God of War and its successors are my all time favorite games.

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