Inclusion of Diversity

The strong global character of our markets translates into different customer requirements – and we want to reflect this diversity among our employees, too. 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. This diversity is important to us because it enables our employees to better meet our customers’ needs. By valuing and promoting employee diversity, we boost our teams’ performance and power of innovation, and increase creativity, motivation and each and every individual’s 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 by integrating topics such as inclusive leadership into our leadership development courses. Special seminars and training events are held to sensitize leaders to issues such as unconscious bias. This enables them to remain as objective as possible when making personnel decisions, for example, to avoid unconscious Biases in favor of or against candidates with certain characteristics or views.

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. Mixed-age teams also benefit from the combination of different skills and perspectives, for example, by bringing together knowledge of digital technologies with many years of experience and process expertise. We have various measures in place to foster this transfer of knowledge and experience, and learning from each other. Given the special role that our leaders assume, the topic “leadership in times of demographic change” forms a part of many of our leadership programs.

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. Our target was to increase this ratio to 22–24% worldwide by 2021. In the BASF Group, the global proportion of female leaders was 23.0% at the end of 2019 (2018: 21.7%). As such, we met this target in 2019. To further strengthen diversity, BASF is setting a new, more ambitious target. By 2030, we aim to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30%. We have thus once again set ourselves an ambitious goal that we want to achieve through various measures.


2030 target


Proportion of women in leadership positions


For instance, BASF has a wide range of initiatives to support couples with equal career potential. As part of overseas delegation, for example, we provide comprehensive coaching and, since 2019, a platform with offers for the partners of delegated employees. This bundles offerings from several companies and makes it easier to find a suitable position abroad. In addition, BASF supports future leaders with individual mentoring and training programs tailored to the needs of different phases of life.

BASF has been a member of the Chefsache initiative since 2016, a network of leaders from industry, academia, the public sector and media. The initiative aims to initiate social change such as increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions in Germany.

Last Update February 21, 2020