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Inclusion of Diversity

The global character of our markets translates into different customer requirements. We want to reflect this diversity among our employees, too, because it enables them to better meet our customers’ needs. For us, diversity means, among other things, having people from different backgrounds working at our company who can draw on their individual perspectives and skills to grow our business. By valuing and promoting employee diversity, we boost our teams’ performance and power of innovation, and increase creativity, motivation and employees’ identification with the company.

Promoting and valuing diversity across all hierarchical levels is an integral part of our strategy and is also embedded in our corporate values. BASF strives to foster a working environment based on mutual respect, trust and appreciation. This is enshrined in our global Competency Model, which provides a framework for our employees and leaders. The inclusion of diversity is anchored in this model as one of the behaviors expected of employees and leaders.

Our leaders play an important role in its implementation. We support them with various, flexible offerings. For instance, we have provided a toolbox with a wide range of content to enable a change of perspective and on promoting diversity and inclusion. A new podcast series from leaders shows the importance of appreciative, fair and inclusive leadership.

Integrating different perspectives is very important to BASF. There are a large number of Employee Resource Groups around the world dedicated to different aspects of diversity.

In North America, conversational formats on the inclusion of diversity were developed for employees and leaders. These led to the creation of further action areas, such as promoting talent and training on intercultural communication and leadership, with the aim of further increasing the inclusion of diversity. BASF also took a stand against racism with various internal and external activities in 2020.

BASF is one of approximately 150 companies that support the United Nations Global LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex) Standards of Conduct for business and has done so since 2018. The U.N. recommendations show the many opportunities companies have to contribute to positive social change. As part of pride month, employees promoted openness, acceptance and tolerance with campaigns at various sites around the world.

Diversity also relates to the company’s demographic profile, which varies widely by region within the BASF Group. Our aim is to create a suitable framework to help maintain the employability of our personnel at all stages of life and ensure the availability of qualified employees over the long term.

Global targets for more diversity on the leadership team

We also promote diversity in leadership development. Since 2015, BASF has set itself global quantitative goals for increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions.

After achieving our original target for women in leadership positions ahead of schedule, BASF set a new, more ambitious target in 2020 to further strengthen diversity. By 2030, we aim to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30%. We have made important progress toward this goal. In the BASF Group, the global proportion of female leaders with disciplinary responsibility was 24.3% at the end of 2020 (2019: 23.0%). We intend to employ various measures to reach our ambitious target.

 

2030 target

 

Proportion of women in leadership positions with disciplinary responsibility

30%

We have developed a global dashboard to permanently monitor our progress toward this target.

Another step toward digitalization is the jobsharing app introduced in 2020, which leaders and employees that wish to share a position can use to network with each other. Job sharing is a future-ready working model that offers benefits for both sides and makes it easier for employees to balance their personal and professional lives.

BASF also renewed its commitment to promoting gender equality by endorsing the United Nations’ Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) in 2020. The WEPs are seven principles providing guidance to business on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, the labor market and the community.

In the global Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) initiative, which we joined in 2019, we campaign together with other companies alongside the G7 and the OECD for inclusive growth, greater gender equality, and the promotion of diversity and inclusion in business. We are also involved in other external initiatives to promote inclusion of diversity at work, such as the Chefsache initiative and the European Round Table.

Leaders and professionals in the BASF Group
  December 31, 2020 Of which women (%)
(Senior) executivesa 8,881
24.3
Professionalsb 38,484 31.8

a Employees with disciplinary leadership responsibilities
b Specialists without disciplinary leadership responsibilities

On April 24, 2015, the Law on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Leadership Positions in the Private and Public Sector came into force in Germany.

The supervisory board of a publicly listed European stock corporation (SE) that is composed of the same number of shareholder and employee representatives must, according to section 17(2) of the SE Implementation Act, consist of at least 30% women and 30% men. Since the 2018 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, the Supervisory Board of BASF SE comprises four women, of whom two are shareholder representatives and two are employee representatives, and eight men; its composition meets the statutory requirements. 

As a target figure for the Board of Executive Directors, the Supervisory Board determined that, in accordance with section 111(5) AktG for the second target-attainment period after the law’s entry into force, which began on January 1, 2017, the Board of Executive Directors should continue to have at least one female member. With eight members of the Board of Executive Directors, this represented 12.5% on the date the target was set, and represents 16.7% with six members. Since February 1, 2021 and the appointment of Dr. Melanie Maas-Brunner to the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE has exceeded the defined target with two female Board members.

The Board of Executive Directors also decided on target figures for the proportion of women in the two management levels below the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE: Women are to make up 12.1% of the leadership level directly below the Board, and the level below that is to comprise 7.3% women. This corresponds to the status at the time these target figures were determined. The deadline for achieving the goals for the second target-attainment period was set for December 31, 2021. BASF views the further development and promotion of women as a global duty independent of individual Group companies. We set ourselves ambitious global goals for this and have made further progress in recent years. BASF will continue working on expanding the percentage of women in its leadership team. The company is carrying out, and constantly enhancing, worldwide measures to this effect.

Targets in accordance with Section 36 and Section 52(2) GmbHG (Limited Liability Companies Act) have also been set for other German Group companies required to comply with codetermination laws. The table below shows the set targets of the first target-attainment period and the proportion of women at the end of the first target-attainment period for BASF Group companies (not including BASF SE) required to comply with codetermination laws at the end of the first target attainment period, i.e. on December 31, 2016.2 The target figures of the second target-attainment period correspond to the status at the time these target figures were determined on December 31, 2016, but do not exceed 30% for the first and second levels of management below the Board of Executive Directors. In cases where a single person sits on the Board of Executive Directors, a target of 0 was set regardless of whether the incumbent is male or female. The deadline for attainment of these goals has been set for December 31, 2021.

Group Company Supervisory Board Executive management
  Set target Actual figure
31 Dec 2016
Set target Actual figure
31 Dec 2016
BASF Business Services GmbH 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 1 (of 3)
BASF Coatings GmbH 0 (of 12) 0 (of 12) 0 (of 2) 0 (of 2)
BASF Lampertheim GmbH 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 0 (of 2) 0 (of 2)
BASF Personal Care and Nutrition GmbH 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 1 (of 3)
BASF Polyurethanes GmbH 1 (of 3) 1 (of 3) 0 (of 1) 1 (of 1)
BASF Schwarzheide GmbH 2 (of 9) 2 (of 9) 0 (of 2) 0 (of 2)
BASF Services Europe GmbH 1 (of 3) 1 (of 3) 0 (of 2) 0 (of 2)
BASF Catalysts Germany GmbH
(targets set for the first time in 2016)
0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 0 (of 3) 
BASF Colors & Effects GmbH
(targets set for the first time in 2016)
0 (of 3)3  – 3  0 (of 2) 0 (of 2)
Chemetall GmbH
1 (of 6) 5 0 (of 2) 5
Group Company 1st level of management below Board of Executive Directors 2nd level of management below Board of Executive Directors
  Set target Actual figure
31 Dec 2016
Set target Actual figure
31 Dec 2016
BASF Business Services GmbH 30% 0% 16,7% 16,2%
BASF Coatings GmbH 18,8% 25% 4 7,8% 9,8% 4
BASF Lampertheim GmbH 30% 38,5% 21,4% 20%
BASF Personal Care and Nutrition GmbH 20% 20% 17,1% 20,8%
BASF Polyurethanes GmbH 11,1% 12,5% 12,5% 10%
BASF Schwarzheide GmbH 0% 14% 0% 0%
BASF Services Europe GmbH 30% 37,5% 30% 63,3%
BASF Catalysts Germany GmbH
(targets set for the first time in 2016)
5% 5% 14,3% 14,3%
BASF Colors & Effects GmbH
(targets set for the first time in 2016)
8,3% 8,3% 7,4% 7,4% 
Chemetall GmbH
2,7%  5 25,4%  5

Information and publication in accordance with Section 289f(4) HGB for the companies specified in the table. All the companies are directly or indirectly wholly owned BASF SE subsidiaries.
Information and publication in accordance with Section 289f(4) HGB for the companies specified in the table. All the companies are directly or indirectly wholly owned BASF SE subsidiaries.
3 BASF Colors & Effects GmbH selected a Supervisory Board for the first time in 2017.
4 The newly defined targets for BASF Coatings GmbH deviate from the female participation status at the end of the first target-attainment period on December 31, 2016. This is because of a change in the female participation rate between the date of the Board of Executive Directors' decision and the figure at the end of the target-attainment period. For BASF Coatings GmbH, a target of 23.5% was set for the first level of management below the Board of Executive Directors and a target of 9.2% was set for the second level of management below the Board of Executive Directors, in accordance with the female participation rate on the date the targets were determined.
5 The first target-attainment period for Chemetall GmbH ended on June 30, 2017. Other guidelines for defining management levels applied during this period. Applying the BASF criteria, the target figures for the new target-attainment period until December 31, 2021 are as follows: 0% for the first level of management below the Board of Executive Directors and 9.52% for the second level of management below the Board of Executive Directors. The new target figures correspond to the proportion of women on June 30, 2017 when applying the BASF criteria.

Last Update February 26, 2021