The board at Black Girls Code, which teaches young women of color how to gain access and opportunities in STEM-related fields, has removed founder Kimberly Bryant as its leadership head.
Based on an email statement to Insider, Black Girls Code’s board reported that Bryant remains on the company’s staff while “serious allegations of workplace impropriety are being investigated.” The statement indicated that the nonprofit had appointed an interim executive director to manage it.
Bryant tweeted, “Press release: so it’s 3 days before Christmas and you wake up to discover the organization YOU created and built from the ground up has been taken away by a rogue board with no notification.” Insider disclosed Bryant did not respond to a request from it for a comment. She had tweeted earlier that she was preparing a formal statement.
Press release: so it’s 3 days before Christmas and you wake up to discover the organization YOU created and built from the ground up has been taken away by a rogue board with no notification. VC: @BlackGirlsCode
— kimberlybryant.eth (@6Gems) December 21, 2021
The shakeup comes as Black Girls Code has gained backing from tech powerhouses like Facebook and Google. It counts too several other blue-chip companies as partners. They include AT&T, Capital One, Lyft Macy’s, Deloitte, Mastercard, and Comcast NBC Universal to name a few, according to the firm’s website. Its board members include which the nonprofit first announced in 2018, consisted of esteemed Black American leaders in technology and entrepreneurship, Insider reported.
An engineer who before worked in pharmaceuticals and biotech, Bryant founded Black Girls Code in 2011. The nonprofit reports it is committed to providing girls from underrepresented communities access to technology and the 21st century skills needed to become tech leaders. In 2016, Insider named Bryant one of the most powerful female engineers of that year. She too was on the cover of the January/February 2018 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE with MeToo founder Tarana Burke.
The Black Girls Code offers programs that include artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, virtual reality, mobile and app design to name a few The Oakland, California-based organization has chapters in 16 cities and its programming over 30,000 participants, per Insider.
Bryant gained support and compassion from her tweets from those in the tech space stunned with her removal.
“This is an unfathomable mess handled in the most unjust way humanly possible to a woman who was a huge part of building this movement,” wrote Karla Monterroso, the former CEO of Code2040, a nonprofit centered on racial equity in the tech industry.