February 2022

Gender Balance’s review of Paradox Interactive AB

External review of forms, prevalence and organizational capability to respond to discrimination, bullying and victimization at Paradox Interactive.

Comment from Mattias Lilja, Chief of Staff In October 2021, following concerns raised by our employees, we enlisted Gender Balance, a Swedish firm specializing on issues of discrimination, harassment, and equality to conduct an audit of our organization. They were recommended by our unions’ representatives, their work is strongly backed by academic research, and they had previous experience with gaming companies, which made them a perfect fit for us.

Their role has been to act as a neutral third party, with the authority to conduct a thorough investigation in order to help us assess issues present in our workplace, and recommend solutions. Additionally, they were given the ability to handle the reports and investigation of harassment and discrimination cases, on behalf of the company, in accordance with Swedish laws and regulations.

We believe that complete transparency is the best way to move forward and address the issues and behaviors that have been identified. On February 7th 2022, Gender Balance delivered the final report and recommendations from their audit; it was shared with all Paradox employees shortly after, and we’re now publishing it. You can find it here, full and unedited.

The main conclusions are that even though relatively few severe cases were found, we do have clear problems with behaviors like suppression techniques and nasty jargon, and that it mainly impacts women in our workforce. It also shows that we did not equip our managers sufficiently with the tools needed to identify and act against this, leading to employees not feeling safe reporting on issues. This is something for which we take full responsibility, and are committed to fix.

You can find towards the end of the report all the recommendations from Gender Balance, all of which we plan to implement thoroughly. Here are some highlights of the actions we’ve set in motion already, based on their recommendations for 2022:

  • Review and update of our harassment and victimization policies, and case management processes. 

  • Increase training for all employees, and conduct dedicated training for both management and human resources.

  • Reinforce managers’ support structure to handle potential harassment cases. 

  • Take regular measurements of the prevalence and forms of misconduct through organization surveys (next iteration planned in Fall 2022).

  • Gender Balance will remain an additional case management support while we rebuild trust in our internal processes.

  • Update our guidelines for both internal & external events, specifically around alcohol availability and consumption.

  • Follow-up and evaluation on our action plan with an anti-discrimination council internally, constituted of members of human resources, management, safety officers, and union representatives. 

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.

Comment from Zack Holmgren, Technical Lead & Union Representative, on behalf of the SACO and Unionen clubs at Paradox As representatives for Unionen and the SACO unions at Paradox, we are very satisfied with the work conducted by Gender Balance. Having recommended them to the company for this audit, we had high trust in their ability from the very start. This has only been reinforced by the quality and thoroughness of their investigation as well as their individual case handling in the past months.

We trust that their report provides an accurate picture of the issues present at Paradox. It underlines a lot of the issues we had identified with our members before the audit. We are working in close collaboration with the company and other stakeholders, such as our safety officers, to follow up on and evaluate the execution of the action plan created based on Gender Balance's recommendations. 

We trust that the clear acknowledgement of existing issues, the actions planned, and the transparency surrounding this process will lead to clear improvements of the work conditions and culture at Paradox, which we are very much looking forward to. Additionally we would like to thank Gender Balance for their excellent work.