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Bobbi Thomason Authors Article in MIT Management Review

As the debate over the word woke rages on, business leaders are grappling with the meaning and connotations of the term (generally it is being aware of inequity and injustice.)

Pepperdine Graziadio’s Bobbi Thomason, assistant professor of applied behavioral science, states that as agents of change, leaders must tackle inequities, dispelling “woke” fears to create just, diverse, and thriving workplaces.

“The ideal of being aware and attentive to issues of inequity and injustice is a timeless standard that all leaders should strive for,” said Thomason. “Once leaders stop the semantic gymnastics and acknowledge the pervasiveness of inequity throughout the business world, they can follow clear scientific evidence to lead the charge toward making their organizations more equitable.”

So how can leaders become more aware of injustice and work toward addressing racial and gender inequity? As a first step, leaders must consider their relationship to injustice, inequality, and the term woke.

“Just because the term woke has been hijacked as a pejorative, that does not mean that organizations should do nothing or shy away from acknowledging their awareness and efforts to address societal injustices.”

Read the full story in the MIT Sloan Management Review.