A new report from Swedish tech site Breakit alleges that around half of Paradox Interactive's staff has experienced some kind of mistreatment while working for the company. According to leaked surveys from Swedish unions Unionen and Sveriges, approximately 44% of participants (roughly 133 of the 400 employees at the company) report being mistreated on the job. 26% of the people surveyed were women and their numbers are worse: roughly 69% said they "experienced abusive treatment."
Breakit claims in its report that a "culture of silence" is in place at Paradox that prevents many employees from speaking up. Of the employees that have dealt with unfair treamtnet, "almost no one" feels that the issues were resolved in a satisfactory manner. Coincidentally, this report comes out just a few days after Paradox's CEO, Ebba Ljungerud, resigned. While she acknowledges seeing the report before its publication, the company's official stance is that she departed due to "differing views on the company's strategy" for the future.
The news didn't fall on deaf ears as Paradox will be conducting its own internal survey to get to the bottom of things. In a company-wide email, employees were told that company is "now in the process of bringing in an external, neutral company to conduct a thorough review of our process and a comprehensive employee survey." This internal review should commence in the coming weeks.
With the story making the rounds across very publications, Paradox also offered statements to both Kotaku and Eurogamer. To Kotaku, a spokesperson wrote, "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)."
Continuing, the company said, "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."