Navy launches Women’s Initiatives Team to aid retention, recruitment

by Tommy Grant

The Navy is standing up a Women’s Initiatives Team, or WIT, as it aims to foster more inclusive warfighting teams while improving recruitment and retention across the fleet.

The team is part of an effort to provide structure to identifying and eliminating potential barriers for women across the service.

Representatives from the Navy’s 17 communities, as well as 11 fleet, education and infrastructure stakeholders, will comprise the team and meet periodically.

“The Navy-WIT will broaden awareness and influence policy changes to increase recruitment and retention of Servicewomen throughout the Navy,” a new naval administrative message released last month said. “It will meet on a periodic basis to build community, develop best practices, and discuss relevant issues leading to opportunities for barrier removal by Navy leadership.”

While similar, ad-hoc teams have previously existed, the Navy is standing up this initiative to synchronize efforts across the entire service.

“WITs are in place throughout the Department of Defense and the Navy is deliberately linking to this structure,” the NAVADMIN said.

Commands and communities will identify officer and enlisted leads, who will then coordinate with their local commands and subordinate units.

The Office of Women’s Policy will oversee the team, and will report to the Office of Navy Culture and Force Resilience and the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Personnel, Manpower, and Training.

The Office of Women’s Policy will publish priorities, share updates, and ongoing initiatives in the Navy’s annual Health of the Force report. Likewise, it will create and assess data to inform policy and program revisions.

Team leads will provide input to community leaders on Health of the Community briefs, and will connect sailors and commands with appropriate resources to engage with the team, and participation in the WIT is not limited to only women, the NAVADMIN said.

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