TECH: Sony is accused of sexism by 9 women in a class action lawsuit.

In Novem­ber, for­mer PlaySta­tion IT secu­ri­ty ana­lyst Emma Majo filed a law­suit against Sony, claim­ing that the com­pa­ny dis­crim­i­nat­ed against women on an insti­tu­tion­al lev­el. Majo alleged that she was fired because she spoke out about gen­der bias at the stu­dio, not­ing that she was fired short­ly after sub­mit­ting a signed state­ment to man­age­ment detail­ing the sex­ism she expe­ri­enced there.

Majo then filed the paper­work to turn her case into a class-action law­suit, and last month Sony tried to have it dis­missed, say­ing her alle­ga­tions were too vague to with­stand legal scruti­ny. In addi­tion, Sony’s lawyers said no oth­er women were com­ing for­ward with sim­i­lar claims.

Today, eight addi­tion­al women joined the law­suit against Sony. The new plain­tiffs are cur­rent and for­mer employ­ees, and only one of them has cho­sen to remain anony­mous. One plain­tiff, Marie Har­ring­ton, worked at Sony for 17 years and even­tu­al­ly became senior direc­tor of pro­gram man­age­ment and chief of staff to senior vice pres­i­dent of engi­neer­ing George Cacciopo.

“When I left Sony, I told Senior Vice Pres­i­dent and Human Resources Direc­tor Rachel Ghad­ban in the Ran­cho Bernar­do office that the rea­son I left was because of sys­temic sex­ism against women,” Har­ring­ton said in a state­ment. “The human resources direc­tor sim­ply said, ‘I under­stand. She did not ask for more infor­ma­tion. I had spo­ken with the human resources direc­tor sev­er­al times before about sex­ism against women.

Har­ring­ton said that women were over­looked for pro­mo­tions and said that dur­ing annu­al review ses­sions, Sony Inter­ac­tive Enter­tain­ment engi­neer­ing man­agers rarely dis­cussed female employ­ees as poten­tial “high per­form­ers.” She said that at their April 2019 ses­sion, only four of the 70 employ­ees reviewed were women, and while all of the men in that group were marked as high per­form­ers, only two of the women were.

“In addi­tion, when two of the women were dis­cussed, the man­agers spent time dis­cussing the fact that they had fam­i­lies,” reads Har­ring­ton’s state­ment. “Fam­i­ly sta­tus was nev­er dis­cussed for the men.”

The remain­ing women shared sim­i­lar sto­ries in their state­ments, with the com­mon theme being the lack of oppor­tu­ni­ties for female employ­ees to advance and sys­temic favoritism toward male employ­ees. The com­plainants alleged that male Sony man­agers made deroga­to­ry com­ments, includ­ing “just mar­ry rich” and “I find that women in gen­er­al can’t take criticism.”

One com­plainant alleged that on a work trip to E3, her super­vi­sor tricked her into hav­ing a drink with him at the hotel bar, hit on her even after she declined, and told oth­er employ­ees that “he was going to try to ‘hit that. ’ ” Anoth­er com­plainant shared a sto­ry about a gen­der equal­i­ty meet­ing at Sony that had a pan­el of five peo­ple, all men.

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