Workers describe lack of promotions for women, porn in the workplace, and other issues.
Click image for larger version

Name:	SIE logo.jpg
Views:	3442
Size:	32.6 KB
ID:	3516374

Eight former and current Sony Interactive Entertainment employees have accused Sony of various forms of sexism in the workplace. These are according to court documents that were filed on Tuesday and first reported on by Axios.

Emma Majo, a former security analyst, filed a lawsuit against Sony for gender discrimination and wrongful termination in November 2021. She wants this to become a class-action suit so as to include other employees that have been impacted by the same sexism and discrimination at the company. Sony, in turn, filed to dismiss the complaint. The company says there is a lack of specific evidence that proves "widespread intentional discrimination."

On Tuesday, March 8, the attorney for Majo filed a further seven statements of support from former PlayStation employees plus another from one current employee. All of the women offered written statements of support that detail specific cases of sexism that they experienced during their time at Sony. The statements include allegations that co-workers and management at Sony discriminated against mothers, ignored ideas put forth by women, sexually harassed the women, made demeaning comments, made unwelcome advances, and denied promotions to women.

Stephen Noel Ilg, Majo's lawyer, continued with another statement that was filed to the court. In this additional statement, he says that several other women were "too scared to speak up about what had occurred at the company." These women feared that Sony, or others in the same industry, would retaliate against them for speaking up.

Marie Harrington, a veteran of Sony Online Entertainment and Sony PlayStation for more than 16 years, cited a lack of women considered for senior roles during “calibration sessions.” During one session, she said, only four women were considered for promotions, compared to nearly 70 men. She described hearing comments about female candidates’ family lives that weren’t made about male candidates.

In a 2018 email to superiors regarding bullying by men at the company, Harrington linked to a New York Times article about women revolting against toxic males at Nike, asking, “Can we address this before PlayStation has its own national news article?”

Another woman cited a third-party study that found a “great imbalance in terms of employee distribution” in her team.
Harrington continues on to say that in her statement that women would often be ranked by "hotness" from several of their male colleagues. She also witnessed instances of "filthy jokes and images of women" being passed around. She says that she was personally asked by a Sony engineer to stop wearing skirts to work as it was "distracting him." Continuing on, she claims that male engineers would often go to strip clubs during lunch and shared porn.

After having twins in 2005, Harrington says that she was told to use a "storage room with a broken lock directly off the entrance lobby" as a private lactation room. She says that she had to stop breastfeeding early due to it not being "sustainable under those conditions."

Polygon shares a bit more insight from first-hand accounts shared by the other women who have joined this case against Sony.

Other women provided similar examples in their statements. One former employee said she worked directly with four other woman in her five years at Sony in the San Mateo and San Francisco offices. All of those women ended up leaving the company “for similar reasons relating to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and not being able to earn a promotion.” She described instances where men made comments about women not understanding technology, and another time where a senior manager attempted to “grab [her] breast” at an off-site work event. Another former employee described a similar incident at a work event with alcohol: “A male Senior Manager was getting inappropriately close to me. He hugged me and whispered in my ear. I left and went to the bathroom and told some female co-workers. Soon after that I transferred departments.”

Another former employee, Kara Johnson, who left in 2021, wrote a statement to leadership in Sony’s Women at PlayStation group (Women@PS) wherein she said at least 10 women left Sony’s Rancho Bernardo office in four months. “Though a certain amount of attrition after PS5 launch was expected, the disproportionate number of women leaving has alarmed leadership.”
One of the women that provided a statement brought up the results of a third-party investigation that was conducted at Sony. She says that the investigation flatly showed "a great imbalance in terms of employee distribution" within her team.

Axios notes that the filing that took place on Tuesday "met a deadline for replies to Sony's attempt to drop the suit." As a result, the next hearing will take place but will not happen until next month (April), at the earliest.