Paradox staff allege suffering from harassment and “culture of silence”

"There is actual harassment at Paradox that people are denying, because they don't believe it's harassment"

Paradox staff have spoken anonymously about reports of harassment, misogyny and a “culture of silence” within the company.

In a report published by Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet and spotted by Eurogamer, current and former Paradox employees have shared their experiences of the workplace within the studio.

In one particular case, women allege that Paradox ignored one man’s reputation for “unwelcome approaches and harassment” and chose to hire him.

“He had too much physical contact with us female employees. A hand on the lower back or very close hugs, where he drilled his face into one’s throat,” said one woman that was harassed by the man prior to his hiring at Paradox, adding “we were several girls who talked about it”.

Victoria 3
Credit: Paradox Development Studio

Speaking to Eurogamer, women working at Paradox have described having ideas within meetings shot down and being told “you’re just here as a token hire. So I think you should be quiet about this”. Adding that “it’s hard to be a woman in this company”, the same woman said “if a guy would have brought the same things up it would have been a valid opinion”.

One woman alleged being pulled from a meeting and made to delete her criticism of Paradox as someone watched, saying “that’s as much culture of silence as you can have”.

Another said that the management structure of Paradox caused middle management to decline passing on issues due to fear of upsetting senior staff.

“If I bring something to my middle management manager he’s not going to address those things to senior management because then he might be disliked,” said one woman, adding, “if you have built your whole leadership on being liked by senior management you become pretty useless for people that you’re working with.”

Speaking anonymously, one woman said that Paradox can change if senior management is “willing to change their perception of what harassment is”, explaining that “there is actual harassment at Paradox that people are denying, because they don’t believe it’s harassment”.

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