Earlier last week, the unprecedented announcement of Black Girls Code CEO and founder Kimberly Bryant being removed as the nonprofit’s head came in as a shock to the tech community.
Kimberly Bryant alerted the public about the breaking news with a “press release” on Twitter.
“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,” Bryant wrote via Twitter.
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 tweet caused an uproar from her counterparts and followers who wanted to learn more details of the indefinite suspension and how to support Bryant. Recently, Bryant shared a statement with TechCrunch to further clear the air.
Kimberly Bryant's Statement
“First and foremost, I know that I have not personally done anything unethical, immoral, or illegal as the Founder and CEO of Black Girls Code,” she shared in the statement. “As a founder who has built something from her own blood, sweat, and tears from the ground up, this fight for me is about justice and giving rights to founders, especially women in leadership. We must be treated fairly and just.”
She continued: “None of the so-called allegations have been substantiated, no investigation has even started, and this entire process has been dishonest and unlawful.”
Following Bryant’s removal without forewarning and the ongoing review, the board placed her on paid administrative leave “to ensure a full and fair review process.”
Allegations Of Bryant's Misconduct
The allegations against Bryant from current and former employees resulted in the Black Girls Code board of directors forming a special committee to review and evaluate the matter, according to TechCrunch.
“The board has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the organization and the well-being of its staff,” interim board chair Heather Hiles shared with the outlet via text. “I can confirm that the recent activities are a result of following through in that responsibility.”
Black Girls Code Employees
In response to Bryant’s denial of the “so-called allegations,” five former employees have since spoken out anonymously about their experiences at Black Girls Code.
Many said that they left the company due to Bryant’s leadership style, which was “rooted in fear.” One employee shared with the outlet that Bryant allegedly would tell them: “You’re not living up to my expectations of what you should be.”
Current Status Of Black Girls Code
While the board hasn’t shared the timeline of the ongoing review, Bryant currently continues to not have access to her work e-mail and has been cut off from communication with current employees and contractors.
Currently, Sofia Mohammed, Black Girl Code’s vice president of programming, is serving as interim CEO.