Increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30%


BASF has set itself global quantitative goals for increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions since 2015. Our target, which we achieved in 2019, was to increase this ratio to between 22% and 24% worldwide by 2021.

What did you want to achieve?

To further strengthen diversity, BASF is now setting a new, more ambitious target: 30/30. By 2030, we aim to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions with disciplinary responsibility to 30%. All leaders are obliged to support the new target, and we have introduced a new I&D dashboard to track the efforts and results of all divisions. We focus mainly, but not exclusively, on the three leadership levels below the Board of Executive Directors. As multipliers, these leaders can make a significant contribution to reaching the new non-financial target.

What did you do?

We have integrated topics such as ‘inclusive leadership’ into leadership development courses. Special seminars and training sensitise leaders to issues such as unconscious bias to enable them to remain as objective as possible when making personal decisions in all different phases of personal development.

Our ‘moments of truth’ communications create gap awareness and pledge to balance for better. Around International Women‘s Day 2020, BASF SE and other legal entities in various regions displayed visual ‘moments of truth’ to underline the need for a level playing field for men and women – within BASF, and in society in general.

In addition, BASF has a wide range of initiatives to support couples with equal career potential. As part of an overseas delegation for example, we provide comprehensive coaching. Since 2019, we have also provided a platform with offers for the partners of delegated employees that bundles offerings from several companies and makes it easier to find a suitable position abroad.

What are the results so far?

BASF met its initial target of increasing the percentage of women in leadership positions to between 22% and 24% worldwide by 2021 in 2019. The global proportion of BASF Group female leaders with disciplinary responsibility rose to 23.0% at the end of 2019 from 21.7% at the end of 2018.

What have you learned?

We learned that top-down support is a key success factor for I&D, and that a combination of bottomup initiatives and top-down signals and decisions works best. We also learned that promoting more women into leadership positions is an essential part of organisational development and change, which contains both structural and cultural elements.