Monique Wells joined the DTE family yesterday as the new director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Monique will be focused on accelerating DTE’s progress in building a workplace where everyone feels valued and able to contribute their best energy toward serving our customers, communities and each other.
We sat down with Monique to learn more about her. Here are Monique’s answers to a few of our questions.
1. Given your years of leading diversity, equity and inclusion work at Consumers Energy, what drew you to DTE and what are you most excited about?
The opportunity to create intentional strategies and affect true growth is what drew me to DTE. In my previous experience, I worked with the inclusion and strategic sourcing department, including the development and deployment of the diversity, equity, and inclusion company-wide strategy, and have led cross-functional teams in the design, implementation, and execution of DEI goals, metrics, and continuous improvement plans.
I’m an educator at heart, and I’m excited to better understand the current culture here and how things work, and then from there, help build out inclusive and thriving teams based on strategies I know will succeed. This is a critical time in history for us to work together toward unity and equity. I’m excited to be part of a team at DTE who are so passionate about the company’s shared core values and about celebrating people’s diverse voices, perspectives and ideas.
2. What experience in your life has shaped who you are and where you are today?
I was born on the east side of Detroit, I graduated from Martin Luther King High School, and initially decided to attend Michigan Tech because I fell in love with the campus, but ultimately, it was the people at Michigan Tech won over my heart. There were people there who believed in me more than I did in myself, and from that, I thrived. I had countless meaningful experiences there.
3. How do you define diversity?
Diversity is a mixture of attributes, from where you’ve grown up, who’s influenced your life, your schooling, your education, your communities – that’s diversity. What captures my heart in DEI, is to see people who are completely opposed to even the word ‘diversity’, to now see it in a way they’ve never seen it.
4. How will you measure success?
There’s a saying, that culture eats strategy for lunch. Strategies that don’t take the organization’s culture into account are likely to fail. I believe by understanding how an organization works, then and only then, can successful strategies affect real change in an organization.
5. Tell us about your family.
My husband and our four children love sports, we’re a family of athletes, and are highly competitive. We are dedicated to our faith in God and are part of a strong community at church.