An employee survey conducted in August by union groups Unionen and Sveriges Ingenjörer has brought to light claims of gender discrimination and bullying from staff working for publisher Paradox Interactive.
Out of the 133 employees who responded, 44% say that they have experienced some form of "mistreatment" while working for the company.
The employee survey targeted Paradox Interactive's Swedish side of the business, which has more than 400 staff working across various departments. According to the report, bullying and gender discrimination are the main issues.
26% of the respondents were women, out of which 69% claimed that they had experienced abusive treatment. The same was echoed by 33% of the male respondents. Employees also mentioned a "culture of silence" and a lack of these issues being properly solved "at a later stage."
The news comes shortly after Ebba Ljungerud stepped down as CEO of Paradox Interactive. Fredrik Wester, her replacement, denied any correlation between the employee survey's results and her departure, which was officially attributed to "differing views on the company's strategy going forward."
Magne Skjæran, representative of the SACO and Unionen boards at Paradox Interactive, also told GameWatcher that he's not "aware of any connection between our survey and the change in CEO."
"Paradox is now in the process of bringing in an external, neutral company to conduct a thorough review of our processes and a comprehensive employee survey," Communications Manager Loïc Fontaine told Breakit.
Last month, the publisher also announced that it had a less than stellar second quarter marked by a drop in both revenue and operating profit when compared to the same period of time from 2020.
We've reached out to Paradox Interactive for comment and will update this article as soon as we hear back.
Paradox Interactive has issued GameWatcher with a statement, which comes directly from its Public Relations Manager, Jesse Henning:
"Obviously, the results of this survey are deeply concerning. The management team wants to ensure this data is acted upon, but taking immediate, direct action is legally difficult thanks to the informal nature of the survey (which is not to say it's being dismissed out-of-hand by any means).
As stated to Breakit, we decided last week to have an independent company run an audit of our processes to report and handle cases of discrimination and harassment. We’ll also have them run a comprehensive survey to provide us with clearly defined and actionable data that we can use to make impactful change.
At this point we're in the process of hiring an independent and neutral firm that specializes in this process; beyond that I don't have further detail I can offer right now."
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