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Black Girls CODE Reviews

Updated Jan 31, 2022

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Found 17 of over 17 reviews

2.4
32%
Recommend to a Friend
  1. 5.0
    Current Contractor, more than 1 year

    BGC Can Help You Grow Personally & Professionally

    Dec 31, 2021 - Anonymous Contractor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Intelligent and passionate employees and volunteers who support the BGC mission. Kimberly is a visionary leader who challenges the status quo and expects excellence from employees and contractors. Kimberly expects her team to provide recommendations versus waiting on her to solve problems. When I present anything to Kimberly (or any C-suite executive), I share the current situation, provide options and end with sound recommendations, which often is approved and supported by her. Great opportunity to engage with influential corporate partners, influencers and great future tech bosses.

    Cons

    The BGC team is very lean. There are many opportunities to expand your skillset, but sometimes the volume of work can be overwhelming.

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  2. 5.0
    Former Freelancer, more than 3 years

    My Experience With BGC

    Dec 30, 2021 - Volunteer in New York, NY
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Black Girls Code has been influential in my success as a Software Engineer. When I started volunteering, I saw the impact that the organization had on young girls who had an interest in tech, which encouraged me to begin my own journey. The organization prepares young girls with technical skills that they need to get exposure into the tech industry. It also helps young girls gain confidence to be curious, creative, and thought leaders, which is not something that existed for young Black girls prior to the organization's origination. My experience as a volunteer was remarkable because the impact that the workshops had on these girls left them with opportunities to continue to ground their interests in tech. As a volunteer, I felt that the work that I was doing was highly impactful and intrigued me to continue to return to workshops so that I could serve as a representation of what these young girls could aspire to be should they continue learning. I knew all too well the value of an organization like BGC and the importance of showing up for these girls at the workshops. Lastly, I am excited to continue to support the organization and its leadership as the future of young Black girls who need exposure and opportunities has shown and will continue to show the value of organizations like BGC contributing to the pipeline of young Black girls/women in tech.

    Cons

    It's quite possible that things might have updated since I participated as a volunteer, but I would like to see the girls have follow-up assignments to keep the momentum from all the great energy from workshops.

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  3. 3.0
    Former Employee

    Black Girls Code: Maturing and Evolving Predominantly Black Work Environments

    Dec 27, 2021 - Education Manager in Oakland, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    PROS: Culture: Every form of ‘blackness’ gets an open floor to express their authentic reality. Respectfully, the breaking of norms that shape the assumed ‘monolithic’ black journeys while being nourished with formal and informal interactions between individuals from all walks of life and beyond the African diaspora. The Students and Services: Creative, culturally informed, personalized and heart centered. The Handful of Solid Employees: Loving, collaborative, challenging, strong sense of integrity, creative, passionate and brillant. The hiring practices are improving. Creative Agency: Owning your workflow and reinventing ways to create, measure and benchmark data across OKRS, customer data and employee performance metrics. Leadership Autonomy: Leadership training and resources to redefine your leadership approach, methods by unlearning and learning new leadership skills to upskill your capacity to lead authentically and with integrity. Tough Love: Strait shooting leadership staff attempting to balance ‘cultural’ expectations/values and high-quality work expectations (HR team and CEO) to support a predominately black workforce.

    Cons

    CONS: Board of Directors: The board is responsible for creating and overseeing the BGCs strategic plan. They outsourced the 2020-2021 strategic plan to an agency to perform. This has pros/cons but it shows a lack of expertise in assessing an organization that they govern. • Provide direction to ensure alignment between the vision, mission and goals and maintain collaborative input with CEO. • Creating more transparency between the board and employees in order to create equitable and legal power dynamics is key to ensuring that the organization operates with greater clarity and confidence to fulfill its outcomes. o Share a summary of relevant board meeting minutes with all employees of BGC o Include employee feedback to assess board performance of BGC OR provide summary of results of a self-assessed board evaluation of performance with the public, business stakeholders and employees o Publish the results of BGCs annual performance on the website • Siloed Culture: Long-tenured co-workers (program directors, program managers) who consistently underperformed, ‘weaponized kindness’ as a means to scapegoat high performers, withheld work data that prevented collaborative work among departments, omitted information or misled communications during meetings and misconstrued/withheld data to sabotage other co-workers from performing well. (Example of challenging change management practices when new employees arrive and subsequently quit due to unusual employee behaviors and socialization tactics that create social distance and oppressive experiences among people of color). Hiring and Recruiting: Underperforming (and insecure co-workers) but generally ‘performative kind-hearted co-workers’, repeatedly chose to recruit or hire only other employees (friends or nepotism) that exhibited extreme ‘friendliness’ but lacked the sufficient skill sets to perform the job within a reasonable capacity based on work experience and/or the targeted skill sets desired for the role. Recommendations: Information Management Department All workplaces would benefit from an information management department to help control and disseminate workplace data between highly interdependent departments (that become siloed) that misuse or disrupt workflow and cause misinformation to circulate and ‘gray’ intended outcomes across important business metrics and benchmarks. Co-worker Behaviors: • Program Directors or Program Managers using socialization tactics to mislead work meetings by withholding or omitting key information to enable collaboration cross-functionally. • Program Directors influencing staff through socialization tactics to scape goat other employees that they did not like in order to get them to quit or to create a perception of ‘not being a team player.’ • Co-workers refusing to acknowledge and support achievements by other co-workers that they ‘assumed’ were ‘bad’ people because of personality differences. • Lack of maturity and skill sets in how to assess work performance and attitudes due to cultural differences. • “I don’t like you” so I will try to get you fired, make you look incompetent (or band with others so you don’t feel like you belong) What I learned: • People weaponize kindness to shame or get others to quit or to be scapegoated at work • All workplaces are learning how to build trust in their work environments among underperforming and high performing employees • Black workplaces are particularly rare and require careful recruitment/hiring practices to ensure an emotionally mature and high-performing work culture • Remain optimistic and build your tribes early when first entering a new workplace

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    4 people found this review helpful
  4. 3.0
    Former Employee

    workplace environment

    Jan 31, 2022 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    giving back to low income community

    Cons

    too much work not enough staff

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  5. 1.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    The CEO was and continues to be the problem

    Dec 22, 2021 - Programs 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The students and parents value the organization as a safe place for learning, growing, and developing young women of color. Many of the team members I had the pleasure of working with were talented, thoughtful, and amazing contributors, and I'm happy to see most of them have moved forward and been able to thrive and level up following their time with BGC.

    Cons

    BGC is held in high regard externally as a safe space for Black girls to build, create, and own their craft in technology. Unfortunately, the internal experience is the complete opposite of that vision. During my time with BGC, the CEO, Kimberly Bryant, made this a space of hostility, confrontation, discomfort, and disdain. Kimberly is a saleswoman for BGC -- that's where the impact of her role begins and ends. Many large and small companies rush to align themselves with the organization based solely on the mission and what it represents. In a world where Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is the latest and greatest buzzword -- Kimberly Bryant has finessed and thrived off being the founder of an organization created by a Black woman for young Black women. When I interviewed for my role on the team, I had long wondered why there was such a HIGH turnover of team members (at that time - most ranging from 2 months- <1 year.) My interview experience was positive, although a bit lengthy. I felt empowered to be joining a company founded and led by a Black woman and surrounded by Black and brown coworkers. Within my first month on the team, I began to put the dysfunctional puzzle pieces together. Kimberly is not a leader, Kimberly is not a mentor, Kimberly should not continue to be the leader, face, and name of BGC — full stop. Slack was her vehicle of choice to belittle, berate, and embarrass team members under the guise of being "a teachable moment" for all. Her version of mentorship and development was administering "tough love" whenever she chose to, making condescending, snide, petty, and unproductive remarks in inappropriate settings, and holding back the progress of the organization at every turn — especially if it meant someone else at the company received praise or recognition for it. There was even an occasion where she accused fellow team members of misusing company funds for personal gain. When proof was presented disproving her accusations and identifying the true culprit, rather than apologize for accusing team members of this illegal and unethical action, she 1. doubled down, stating the identified culprit could not have been the only one stealing from the company and 2. later deleted and removed the accusations, proof of true culprit, and messages from Slack. Team meetings were a place where we sat and listened — if you had questions, concerns, or alternative ideas to share, you were either shut down, told to share your thoughts with your supervisor because she didn't want to discuss it, or were dragged into a heated debate/slack battle with her about it. Kimberly was our Payroll, HR, Operations, etc. No decision was made at BGC without her say-so and final approval. Partnerships, programs, and company operational resources were often extremely delayed or put on hold because we were waiting on Kimberly to complete tasks. Team members sometimes paid out of pocket for company expenses with no guarantees on getting that money reimbursed, outsourced and enlisted help from family and friends due to lack of resources, or went above and beyond the scope of our roles to ensure workshops ran smoothly and the girls did not suffer from the lack of follow-through from our leader. Parents frequently asked when new workshop topics would be created, pointing out that we hosted the same workshops every year and wanting their children to participate and learn something new. There were no learning tracks or continued learning programs for students to build on their workshop experience and continue learning that specific content — the only options were to sign up for a different workshop with different focuses and functions. At the time - there was also no alumni development program or support to help them find internships and support through college - I'm not sure if this has changed but also worth noting that parents regularly inquired about the timeline and progress of this. Volunteers also continuously expressed concern about the content and validation of the workshop curriculum — pointing out errors and problems within the code structure and offering additional time to support the team in building out new content. These requests were shared with Kimberly but never went beyond a conversation due to her not prioritizing what the program stakeholders requested. There were no performance evaluations, team member leveling expectations, development plans, or growth trajectory guidelines. There were inconsistencies with salary and taxes and occasions where we were not paid on time - one occasion which was almost a week later than our scheduled pay date. Kimberly was on an international vacation and did not prioritize expediting this process to ensure her already underpaid team did not have to go without while she enjoyed the fruits of our hard work and exhaustive labor. There was no equity within pay across the team; promotions and salary increases were laughable or unheard of. If someone did receive an increase or promotion, it was based on favoritism and granted to team members who threatened to leave the company that she did not want to lose. Kimberly also openly showed a bias of specific team members - many receiving additional perks and benefits from her directly. I can go on, but I'll sum up by saying this - I've seen the messages in support of Kimberly following the recent decision to remove her as CEO. While I understand many students have benefited from the program under Kimberly's leadership - it is time for a change for the good of our future tech bosses.

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    35 people found this review helpful
  6. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Great mission & purpose, toxic & poorly managed non-profit

    Dec 21, 2021 - Sponsorship Coordinator 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Being able to see the students experience the programming AND learn technical skills

    Cons

    watching the founder prioritize speaking engagements and her own self-interests over the success and possible growth of the organization. The founder is a mean girl who doesn’t empower her leaders and micromanaged everyone from program coordinators to directors. Don’t be blinded by the mission. At least 80% of former employees will tell you this was one of the worst experiences in their professional career

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    16 people found this review helpful
  7. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Growth opportunity

    Oct 7, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Opportunity to expand skill set

    Cons

    Fast paced and lack of work life balance

    1 person found this review helpful
  8. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Low quality program for Black girls, toxic work environment for Black women

    Jul 9, 2021 - Director in Oakland, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The staff is hardworking and dedicated. Everyone was drawn into the mission and really works to do the best they can for the community of young women. The girls themselves are brilliant!! They work hard, are thoughtful, and value the community that BGC provides. Everyone wants to do more and be responsive to feedback from the girls. Unfortunately, that inventiveness is stunted by a poorly managed curriculum team. Even that team has great ideas, but they have not been able to craft a cohesive set of original BGC offerings and rely heavily on borrowed curriculum. To potential applicants - Yes, I know THE MISSION or the GIRLS or whatever highlights you believe will come from this job opportunity sound great! However, the never-ending hurdles of getting the most basic stuff done at BGC are exhausting. You will not grow, you will not pick up new skills, you will not be developed, you will not be supported. The CEO/Founder has openly said she is looking for “workers,” not leaders, thinkers, creators, etc., just folks who will mindlessly and unquestioningly do her bidding. It is a mind-numbing experience, and you will languish professionally. Take your talents elsewhere!

    Cons

    Kimberly Bryant is the worst part of the organization. BGC is Kimberly’s vanity project and an avenue she leverages to get paid for speaking engagements. Kimberly is inept and disinterested in the real work of running a nonprofit organization, an ed-tech organization, or anything that is not centered on her and requires thoughtful attention and timely responses. She is an absent, disengaged leader who pops up just to obstruct work. Numerous projects were immobilized because Kimberly had not: paid a vendor, responded to emails, gave feedback on materials she requested, attended meetings, signed contracts, or done any real work to support her team. Kimberly is not a culture leader. She is dishonest, suspicious of everyone, a bully, moody, self-centered, capricious, and possesses no discernible leadership qualities. She barely shows up to staff meetings, is late to every single meeting (internal or external), and may not trouble herself to greet you when in person. Kimberly is so far removed from the actual challenges and needs of the organization that her feedback and questions, at times, sound delusional. Kimberly’s newest ideas are mostly pulled from the Twitter or Instagram accounts of competitors. She wants BGC to compete without providing her staff with the resources, support, curriculum, leadership, or advocacy needed to execute.

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    66 people found this review helpful
  9. 1.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    The CEO embodies what every leader should strive not to be.

    Jun 17, 2021 - Director 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The Black Girls CODE staff was absolutely stellar. They were one of the best groups of individuals I’ve worked with in my 10+ year career in the sector. They were supportive, brilliant, and a pleasure to work with. I was inspired to work my hardest because of my colleagues. They kept me going when the work was overwhelming and the environment was unbearable. I learned so much from working with a group of high-performing individuals and they have my deepest respect.

    Cons

    In 2020 and 2021, the organization received millions of dollars of unsolicited donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals across the United States and beyond. These entities did not look past the brand of the organization because if you peel back even just the first layer, you will find a plethora of dysfunction, toxicity, mismanagement, and lies. CEO and Founder, Kimberly Bryant had an amazing and inspiring idea for an organization...but that was it. She has created a brand that does not align with what actually goes on day-to-day at BGC. Personally speaking, I was ridiculed, publicly shamed, and belittled almost every single day. Aside from this daily abuse, the organization does not function in the way Kimberly Bryant claims it does. Kimberly has created a chaotic, toxic environment for a staff that works so tirelessly to bring her vision to fruition. She embodies what every leader should strive not to be. She is cruel. She is demeaning. She is damaging. She has caused so much emotional trauma for past and current staff (including myself). People are afraid to speak during team meetings because you’re typically met with harsh criticism, regardless of your performance, and shame. Staff members avoid taking accountability of their work because of the fear of being bullied by Kimberly. No matter how hard you work, she always undervalues your performance. Gaslighting is her expertise. I have never felt more degraded or minimized in my entire corporate and non-profit career. If you approach Kimberly with a concern, she immediately blames and shames you. If you request even a signature for a required document, she either ignores your existence or publicly complains about you asking her for anything. I cannot even count the number of Slack messages sent to groups with harsh criticism of staff members - she berates people to a breaking point. The day I left the organization I felt a weight lifted off my chest, but still feared retaliation. The organization does not pay it’s staff equitably, the benefits are minimal, and the environment will destroy even the strongest of people; the moment you enter the doors (even if it’s working from home) of BGC, your passion is ripped from your body and your soul is crushed. I joined BGC because of its mission to empower young girls of color; I left BGC because Kimberly tore down her Black and brown employees who were mostly women.

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    41 people found this review helpful
  10. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    You're going to need therapy after working here

    Jun 14, 2021 - Director 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The mission of the org is wonderful and truly needed. The employees are kind, hardworking, and really care about the mission.

    Cons

    It's difficult to even write these words because no one wants to put down a Black woman founder, but it must be said. Kimberly Bryant is easily the worst example of "leadership" I've ever witnessed. She is petty, arrogant, selfish, condescending, and lacks even the basic skills to lead a team. She is concerned only with her own image and her own pay check, even at the expense of her team and the organization itself. She is absent most of the time and when she does actually show up, she only gets in the way of actual work that needs to be done by putting down the staff and their work or by simply not giving them the necessary tools or support to do their job successfully. She offers no real guidance or direction, just scolding and blame. She makes a ton of mistakes that have negatively impacted the org and relationships with partners, but instead of rectifying it or apologizing she throws someone on her team under the bus and tells them that they aren't performing at the level she expects. She has single handedly created an extremely toxic and difficult work environment and refuses to take any accountability for her behavior. When someone on the staff dares give her any push back, feedback, or critique that she doesn't like she ostracizes and bullies them until they are forced to leave. The only thing she really cares about is her public persona, clout, and doing speaking engagements so she can be praised. She doesn't care that her staff is miserable, underpaid, and under supported. And she definitely doesn't care about the students or the community. It is said that people don't leave jobs, they leave bad managers. This is exactly the case at BGC where the turnover rate is through the roof and the fault falls squarely on the shoulders of the founder. Talented, amazing people come into this org excited and dedicated to the mission, but after all the abuse and disfunction they often leave dejected, spent, miserable, and defeated- often within just a year. You will need therapy after working here because it takes a physical and mental toll, but please note that there are no wellness stipends. Aside from health insurance, the benefits are the bare minimum. No matching 401k. No wfh stipend. No commuter benefits. No raises. No professional development stipend. Only 3 sick days per year. Its abysmal. BGC is made up of most Black and brown folks so its incredibly disheartening seeing them be treated this way, especially by a Black woman. You would think that after a year of racial unrest and a pandemic a company like this would really be setting the standard for how to support, nurture, and treat Black and brown employees, but it is the exact opposite. The staff is so hardworking and kind, but receive no compensation or credit for it. The best you can hope for at BGC is to be ignored by Kimberly because at least you wont be the target of her bullying and wrath. At best, she's delusional. At worst, a con artist and an oppressor.

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    28 people found this review helpful
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