Senior relations manager spoke of her own abuse experience
Bungie’s Senior Employee Relations Manager Gayle D’Hondt has announced that she will be stepping down from her role at the studio amidst the recent wave of allegations leveled at the Halo developer for discriminatory and abusive behavior. As reported by IGN, D’Hondt informed Bungie employees that she would be leaving the position via a company-wide email, though it is unclear as to whether the former HR manager is resigning from Bungie entirely.
In the email, D’Hondt reportedly reflects on her 14-year tenure with the company, and will work with other members of Bungie’s HR team to determine what is to be done with the position in her stead. D’Hondt writes that she intends to do “everything in my power to make sure everyone who works [at Bungie] has a safe, welcoming and supportive environment” before adding that “know that they need to be trusted to be your advocates — not labeled as ‘enablers’ or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbor.”
“I am proud of the work I did at this company,” concludes D’Hondt’s email. “I believe I made recommendations that were in the best interest of our people and in service of the company we wish to become. I also believe we made some mistakes, and that to become the better version of ourselves — the company I know we can be — we have to acknowledge and confront them, in good faith, and grow together.”
D’Hondt also references the “deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts” that she has faced in her time at the company, candidly referencing her own personal experience of abuse from a male Bungie executive. The unnamed individual has since been fired. D’Hondt’s stepping down comes at a time of great turbulence both within Bungie and within the games industry as a whole, with studios Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Riot Games, Rockstar, and others all facing scrutiny for varying allegations pertaining to sexism, racism, bullying, crunch culture, pay disparity and other workplace abuse.