- Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant has been placed on leave by the nonprofit’s board.
- Its board said it was investigating complaints about Bryant’s conduct but that she remains on staff.
- Black Girls Code teaches girls tech skills and has partnered with Google, Facebook, and Nike.
Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, was removed as head of the nonprofit this week by its board following complaints related to her conduct, the nonprofit’s board said.
Bryant announced the situation in a tweet on Tuesday. “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,” she wrote.
On Thursday, the board released an additional statement to Insider that it had formed a special committee in October to investigate those complaints. It placed her on paid administrative leave this week during the investigation, and she remains on staff, it said. The board has appointed an interim executive director to manage the nonprofit.
In an emailed statement to Insider on Tuesday, Black Girls Code’s board said it was investigating “serious allegations of workplace impropriety” but did not provide further details.
Bryant declined to comment to Insider.
An engineer who previously worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, Bryant founded Black Girls Code in 2011. The nonprofit runs workshops, summer camps, and other programs to teach girls technology skills in areas such as web design, app development, and robotics. In 2016, Insider named Bryant one of the most powerful female engineers of that year.
The Oakland, California, nonprofit has chapters in 16 cities, and its programming has reached more than 30,000 participants, according to the organization.
Black Girls Code has amassed support from companies such as Google, Facebook, IBM, and Nike. Its board, which the nonprofit announced in 2018, includes prominent Black leaders in technology and entrepreneurship.
Among its directors are Stacy Brown-Philpot, the former CEO of TaskRabbit and a member of the SoftBank Opportunity Fund’s investment committee; Sherman Whites, a director at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit that supports entrepreneurship; and Heather Hiles, the founder of the education-tech company Pathbrite and the managing director of the venture-capital firm Black Ops.
Bryant’s tweets on Tuesday drew an outpouring of support and sympathy from many in the tech community who expressed shock at the news of her removal from the nonprofit’s leadership.
“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 focused on racial equity in the tech industry.
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