Inclusion of Diversity

  • Fostering diversity is part of our company culture
  • Progress made in increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions

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.

BASF Group employee age structure

(Total: 110,302, of which 25.5% women, as of December 31, 2020)

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.

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


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,

Of which
women (%)

(Senior) executivesa







Employees with disciplinary leadership responsibilities


Specialists without disciplinary leadership responsibilities