The executive board of the MeTooSTEM organization has backed its leader BethAnn McLaughlin amid continuing accusations of bullying, two years after similar allegations were made, Science magazine reports.
Some members of the organization's leadership group have tendered their resignations in the past week. According to Science, critics of McLaughlin claim she has "sidelined people of color and bullied volunteers, activists, and fellow leaders both at the nonprofit and outside of it."
"We will not support an organization whose leader uses the same tactics as the abusers we are fighting against to promote white supremacy, shame, victim blaming, and dismissal. We urge BethAnn to be publicly accountable for her actions and apologize to those who are hurting badly as a result," Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University, and Teresa Swanson, a science communicator based in Seattle, said in a joint statement provided to Science. They both resigned from the leadership team of MeTooSTEM on Feb. 21.
In response to the board's backing, McLaughlin said she is "heartened" and is "deeply committed to providing better resources for people who are really struggling in this space."
The latest controversy comes almost two years after similar allegations were made against McLaughlin. Other members of the organization resigned at that time, citing concerns about its finances and structure as well as McLaughlin's confrontational approach.