The founder of the Black Girls Code has been ousted as head of the non-profit organization following allegations of ‘inappropriate workplace’

  • Code for black girls founder Kimberly Bryant has been put on leave by the nonprofit board.
  • Its board said it was investigating complaints about Bryant’s behavior, but that she’s still employed.

Kimberly Bryant, the founder of the Black Girls Code, was removed as head of the nonprofit organization this week by the board after complaints related to her behavior, the nonprofit board said.

Bryant announced the situation in a tweet Tuesday. “Press release: so it’s 3 days before Christmas and you wake up and discover that the organization YOU have created and built from scratch has been taken away by a junk board without any notice.” she wrote.

On Thursday, the board issued a further statement to Insider that it had formed a special committee in October to investigate these complaints. That put her on paid administrative leave this week during the investigation, and she remains employed, it said. The Board of Directors has appointed an interim CEO to manage nonprofits.

In an email to Insider on Tuesday, Black Girls Code’s board said it was investigating “serious allegations of inappropriate workplace” but did not provide further details.

Bryant told Insider she was unaware of the investigation and that her removal was ‘unscrupulous’.

An engineer who previously worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries founded the Bryant Black Girls Code in 2011. The nonprofit organization holds workshops, summer camps and other programs to teach girls technological 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 nonprofit organization Oakland, California, has branches in 16 cities, and its programming has reached more than 30,000 participants, according to the organization.

The Black Girls Code has garnered support from companies such as Google, Facebook, IBM and Nike. Its board, as 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, director of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship; and Heather Hiles, founder of education technology company Pathbrite and CEO of venture capital firm Black Ops.

Bryant’s tweets Tuesday attracted a stream of support and sympathy from many in the country tech community that expressed shock over the news of her removal from the management of the nonprofit organization.

“This is an unfathomable mess that is being handled in the most unfair way it is humanly possible for a woman who was a big part of building this movement.” wrote Karla Monterroso, the former CEO of Code2040, a non-profit organization focusing on racialism in the technology industry.

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