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PlayStation Sexism Lawsuit Intensifies As 8 More Women Share Allegations Against The Company

Eight current and former PlayStation employees have now stepped forward with additional accounts of sexist treatment while working for the gaming giant.

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." While Sony asked the court to dismiss her claims, citing them as lacking in evidence, eight women are now stepping forward with their own accounts of sexist treatment while working for the gaming giant.

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

One of the women who stepped forward--PlayStation veteran Marie Harrington--claimed that women were rarely considered for senior roles during the company's “calibration sessions.” According to Harrington, "only four women were considered for promotions, compared to nearly 70 men" during one of these meetings. She also described hearing comments about "female candidates’ family lives that weren’t made about male candidates." In 2018, Harrington reportedly sent a New York Times article about women revolting against toxic males 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, also offered up her own account of discrimination at the company. According to Johnson, she was one of 10 women over the span of four months who left her office in Rancho Bernardo, California after reporting systemic problems with the way she and her female colleagues were treated. Her testimony includes a letter she shared with other female employees when she left PlayStation in January, which 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." Ultimately, Johnson wrote she believes, "Sony is not equipped to appropriately handle toxic environments."

Stephen Totilo, the Axios reporter who first broke the news, took to Twitter to add even more context to this story shortly after publication. This includes "An account of an all-male gender diversity panel" and the testimony of a woman who "put a checkmark in a notebook every time she was interrupted in a meeting (12-15 times per meeting)."

Sony has yet to respond to these allegations.

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