When she arrived at Ubisoft in Montreal in 2009, Stéphanie Harvey said they experienced harassment or sexism “from day 1”. Today professional player and five times world champion, she is an advocate for a culture change, at the home of his ex-employer, as in the entire video game industry.
The recent scandal of sexual harassment that shakes Ubisoft, the main editor of French video games and one of the big names in the global sector, is only the tip of the iceberg, evidenced by the Québec 34-year-old “upset” by all this history.
“I am convinced that what is happening at Ubisoft made a lot of waves in the other companies, because this is not just for Ubisoft as it happens,” says the champion of Counter-Strike, a famous shooting game, known as “missharvey” in the middle of it. The movement has taken on a “huge scale”, welcomes it.
“It also happens online, on the internet, the big streamers are pointing the finger each other, it is even transferred to Quebec,” says the young woman, also in charge of developing within an american society of e-sports.
After a wave of accusations of sexism and harassment against executives of Ubisoft, the group, with its 18 000 employees, had just landed his number two, his human resources director and the boss of its studios canadian.
“I would say that from day 1, it happened to me,” says the young woman, who has worked from 2009 to 2017 at Ubisoft Montréal, presented as the “greatest video game studio in the world”.
“The number of times I got accosted by employees at Ubisoft: “Oh, you’re new, you have to be human resources, it is impossible that you work in games.” It happened often,” recalls the Quebec, evoking the ambience of a locker room of boys.
One day, when she had to move his office in an elevator, an employee has stopped between two floors, and said to him: “here is the best place to sleep with someone at Ubisoft”, leaving her in shock.
Become one of the first players professional in 2005, “missharvey” has seen “no difference” on his arrival in the company in relation to the environment in which it had already evolved.
“For me, this was not a problem for Ubisoft, it was a problem of a world of men with a few women,” she insists, claiming to be “loved” his time at the French giant.
Stephanie Harvey often think back to the time where she was “out to get the buttocks” in a professional event by another player, there are about four years old.
“Everything that’s happened to me, I put it in a box, I thought I was comfortable with what had happened in my life, the box reopens, and I’m not comfortable,” she said, very moved.
The first is the case of extent in the area dates back to the Gamergate 2014 — name given to a case of cyber-bullying of the american designer Zoë Quinn, before the flood #MeToo in 2017.
“What saddens me is that this is the third wave and it is almost back to square one”, she laments, lamenting that, each time, the guilty are pointing the finger without behavior change, ” she says.
In 2013, this “feminist and activist” who has co-founded Missclicks, an online community aimed at supporting women in the sector.
For it to Ubisoft as in the middle in general, it is necessary to “work on the culture of the company”, for example, by multiplying the trainings on the gender bias and / or by recruiting more women in this environment is still very largely male.
It is hoped that the case Ubisoft will allow an awareness of the problem by the human resources department of major companies in the sector.
At the time she was working at Ubisoft Montreal, the former game designer says not to have “not even think” to seize his HRD. “There was zero privacy, human resources at Ubisoft.”
“I hope that this is only the beginning, that we will put in place the resources, systems in Montreal, that women will feel more respected.”