January 10, 2022

Update: Black Girls Code CEO Speaks Up In A Tell-All Interview Days After Board Suspends Her

Kimberly Bryant, who founded Black Girls Code in 2011, released an official statement on December 30, days after the company’s board of directors suspended her after several misconduct complaints.

The statement, which can be found on Twitter, said: “After obtaining legal counsel to address my unlawful suspension only days before Christmas, I spoke with ABC7’s Julian Glover to share additional details about concerns with members of the Black Girls. CODE board of directors.”

She claimed the suspension was a part of an agenda to “impact a small, women-founded, women-led nonprofit” with women of color at the top of the business.

Over the past year, Bryant said she’s worked on addressing the issues of the workplace environment. However, the Glass Door reviews show some ex-employees were not happy there.

But six months ago, to create change, the CEO said she worked with consultants to address pay equity concerns and provided coaching and mentorship to the senior leadership team.

Bryant, widely respected in the tech scene, also sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC7. She denied allegations of wrongdoing and said she supported the investigation because she feels she will be “fully, fully vindicated.”

Asked whether an investigation is warranted, she told ABC7: “If there are issues that have surfaced or brought up by anyone on the organizational team, myself included, we owe it to our community and the girls, the little Black girls that we serve, to fully investigate those issues.”

Despite her support for the investigation, she said: “I’m not here to say that our organization is a perfect place. But I’m saying that the efforts that we have invested in… is what is going to make us a great place to work in the future.”

Bryant said those investments include hiring consultants to work with the leadership team, launching a cultural survey to get to the bottom of high turnover during the pandemic, and bringing in an external firm for a compensation review.

But TechCrunch, a leading US outlet, has reportedly spoken with five former employees of Black Girls Code anonymously, who appeared to back up the Board’s claims.

“People stayed because they figured out the workarounds,” said one of the former employees.

“Someone said that it was to your benefit to stay off her radar, and if you could figure out how to execute your work even without access to specific systems, you’d be fine,” said another.

Bryant, however, said she “absolutely” supports an investigation “because I feel that I will be fully, fully vindicated. There’s not anything that I’ve done that has been wrong. I don’t see a way that I wouldn’t be a part of Black Girls Code in some way in the future.”

The Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Black Girls CODE (the “Special Committee”) issued the following statement to POCIT regarding recent developments and media reports about the status of Kimberly Bryant.

It said: “First and foremost, the Special Committee and the entire Board are committed to their fiduciary duties to Black Girls CODE and to our incredible community – including our supporters, partners, and dedicated staff.

“Earlier this year, the Board received or became aware of concerns raised by current and former employees about Ms. Bryant’s conduct. On October 5, the Board formed the Special Committee to review and evaluate the complaints and determine what, if any, action should be taken with respect to these concerns.

“To ensure a full and fair review process, earlier this week, the Special Committee placed Ms. Bryant on paid administrative leave. Ms. Bryant remains employed and will be paid in full during her leave. We have appointed an interim executive director to serve while this process is ongoing.

“Because this is an ongoing review and because of our respect for the privacy of Ms. Bryant and
all others involved, we do not intend to make further public comments until the review has
been completed.”

Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.

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