DTE Energy’s employee resource groups lacked structure and some of them had become stagnant. They did not have strong connections to our company’s goals and received little corporate support. Membership and participation were low, with activities limited to a small number of employees.
The Diversity & Inclusion group re-energized and launched eight employee resource groups in early 2017. The groups were re-branded as DTE’s Energy Groups to drive diversity and inclusion at a grassroots level through advocacy, professional development and mentoring. They support DTE Energy’s aspiration to be the best-operated company in North America and a force of growth and prosperity in the communities where we live and serve.
We conducted strategy-building sessions to establish a standardized structure, set goals, and expand membership of the Energy Groups. Senior executives volunteered to sponsor each group and provide financial support as the groups aligned their goals with those of our company. Each Energy Group has a frequently updated page on DTE’s intranet, providing easy access to its goals, achievements, events – and a link for employees to join one or more groups.
Energy Groups are now highly active in driving acceptance and a sense of belonging at DTE Energy. Membership has tripled (as of May 2017) compared with 2016. Energy Group members are key supporters and promoters of our volunteerism efforts, recruiting and career development programs, and mentoring relationships. Metrics on inclusion have gone up, and the groups are engaging in substantive projects that provide value to the business.
We are all stronger — as a company, as professionals, as people — when we have a diverse and inclusive workforce that values everyone's unique perspective and insight.