After an employee survey brought to light claims that Paradox Interactive staff faced gender discrimination, a new report continues to paint a dark picture of the Swedish publisher.
Female staff claim that the company is "clearly male-dominated" and plagued by a "culture of silence," while its management structure makes it difficult to address junior staff facing harassment.
"He had too much physical contact with us female employees. A hand on the groin or very close hugs, where he drilled his face into one's throat," is how an anonymous female employee described the experience after working with the man before he joined Paradox Interactive.
The same anonymous employee won a lawsuit against the man's former employer in 2016, receiving a settlement of nearly 270k Swedish kroner ($30.6k). According to the report, he joined Paradox just months after the lawsuit and then departed in August 2021.
Several women told the newspaper that harassment usually came from men in senior positions, often being targeted at people lower in the hierarchy.
An employee who worked at Paradox for a decade recalled getting removed from a meeting and had to remove criticism addressed at the company from its internal Slack channel while a higher-up watched. Claims also point towards men having the final word in meetings.
"It's hard to be a woman in this company," one female employee told Eurogamer. "People are like, 'You're just whining? Why is it harder for women?' But if a guy would have brought the same things up it would have been a valid opinion."
Other employees told Eurogamer that management isn't doing enough to help junior staff targeted by harassment, largely because of middle management's focus on pleasing senior staff.
"If I bring something to my middle management manager he's not going to address those things to senior management because then he might be disliked," an anonymous employee told the website.
These are serious issues, and employees still believe that the company can turn things around "if senior management is willing to help, if they are willing to change their perception of what harassment is."
Last month, Paradox Interactive CEO announced that he will not be directly involved in the company's handling of mistreatment cases, after behaving inappropriately towards an employee in 2018.
We've reached out to Paradox Interactive for comment and will update this article as soon as we hear back.
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