About Us

BLUF: The Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) challenges with recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive Total Force affect its ability to meet strategic objectives.

Bluntly stated, DoD must implement cultural, organization, and operational change to ensure that recruiting, retention, and diversity goals are met.

The DoD must adapt innovative approaches to attract critical skillsets, better manage DoD talent by providing growth and development opportunities, including up-skilling and re-skilling, and continue to focus on fostering a diverse and inclusive Total Force.

The DoD has identified Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Workforce as a major issue throughout the military components. In fact, the DoD named the lack of a diverse workforce as one of its top management challenges for 2023 and state a workforce that mirrors the diversity of the America only strengthens the DoD.

The National Guard Bureau (NGB) recognizes the National Guard’s strength is its people and are committed to establishing a safe and inclusive culture to respect the diversity of the United States, ensure equity, build trust, and achieve readiness and mission accomplishment.

The most well-known Women’s Initiative Team is the all-volunteer Air Force team that has addressed barriers through policy change.  One of the most visible changes was the 2021 hair standard changes. The hair bun, which had been the standard for decades, caused many health issues for women. The team has also impacted lactation accommodations and convalescent leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Some barriers women face aren’t so obvious: if the restrictions on female service (including combat) have been changed, why are there struggles with recruiting, retaining, and developing female servicemembers?

As women in California’s military department, we see barriers limiting the recruitment, retention, and diversity within our ranks. Through the California Joint Women’s Initiative Team (JWIT), we, as well as our male counterparts, are committed to leveraging the attributes, experiences, cultures, characteristics, and backgrounds that make California such an amazing and diverse state. 

Our all-volunteer team is located throughout California, and we hold meetings via teleconference regularly. We invite you to be a part of the JWIT. Our email is cajwit@gmail.com.