Paradox Interactive releases external studio culture report following harassment issues

"We believe that complete transparency is the best way to move forward and address the issues and behaviours that have been identified"

Paradox Interactive has released an external report into its own work culture following issues of harassment that were raised last year in a staff survey.

As reported by Eurogamer, the report was compiled by Gender Balance – a Swedish firm that specialises in discrimination, harassment and equality issues – and its results confirm that there are cultural issues within Paradox that foster misconduct.

“We believe that complete transparency is the best way to move forward and address the issues and behaviours that have been identified,” Paradox chief of staff Mattias Lilja said in response to the report and the recommendations from Gender Balance.

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In a separate interview with Direkt, which was provided to Eurogamer with the English translation, Lilja said: “We are now getting to the bottom of this and we are getting a concrete picture of the problem.”

Crusader Kings 3
Crusader Kings 3. Credit: Paradox Interactive

“The report is a first step for us to really address these issues and bridge the trust gap that exists. Everyone should feel safe at Paradox and thrive, that is our responsibility to ensure.”

Lilja continues to address the report, saying that Gender Balance expected more severe cases and found fewer but discovered behaviour of “inappropriate/nasty jargon” that “affects women to a greater degree than men, which is completely unacceptable. That is the starting point for our action plan.”

The report also acknowledges a small number of cases described as “severe or overt harassment or sexual harassment”, as well as “harsh and demeaning language, ridicule, recurring mean-spirited criticism, unfairly questioning competence, interrupting or speaking over someone in meetings, and blaming and shaming.”

Women also reported behaviour of unsolicited compliments and comments about their appearance, along with frequent use of gendered and negative stereotypes.

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The full report further details that the identified cases haven’t resulted in any termination of employment or police involvement, but “other measures have come into play” while also stating that managers lack the training and support for these incidents.

Paradox Interactive has since improved harassment policies, reinforced the support structure for management and HR, and updated its guidelines for events.

“This report is an important step in making Paradox a workplace where everyone feels safe and can enjoy their work, and we are deeply grateful to everyone who has stepped forward in the process of this audit,” Lilja said.

In other news, Dead Island 2 could launch in March 2023.

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