Inclusion of Diversity

  • Fostering diversity is part of our company culture
  • Target for proportion of women in leadership positions increased

The 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.

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. 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.

BASF Group employee age structure

(Total: 117,628, of which 25.1% women, as of December 31, 2019)

BASF Group employee age structure (bar chart)

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 with disciplinary responsibility 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 with disciplinary responsibility 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 with disciplinary responsibility


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.

Leaders and professionals in the BASF Group


December 31, 2019

Of which women (%)


Employees with disciplinary leadership responsibilities


Specialists without disciplinary leadership responsibilities

(Senior) executivesa