No. 12 | BASF


  • Chairman and CEO of BASF in North America Wayne Smith personally issued the “Talent & Diversity Challenge” that promised to move BASF forward in a manner that is “farther, faster, bolder.”
  • This commitment pledged that BASF would no longer be satisfied with incremental improvements but would look for step change growth. With Wayne Smith’s leadership, the company is owning up to this responsibility and dedicated to real progress.
  • BASF’s hiring managers assign a buddy to all new hires. Its onboarding approach has tools/resources for all buddies to better understand their role in guiding new hires in their early days. A buddy provides a more short-term bridge into the company, which is then further supported by the ongoing mentoring experience.


BASF continues to improve the diversity of its team as a result of its “Talent & Diversity Challenge,” which is an effort to accelerate progress in Diversity + Inclusion and leadership pipeline development.

This effort is advancing through attraction, selection, development, and retention of a workforce that reflects the diversity of background and experience, and leverages the power of diversity to drive the BASF “customers first and winning together” business strategy.

Aspirational goals ensure that 50% of the people interviewed for roles reflect the diversity of the North American talent market, 50% of the people doing the interviewing are diverse, and efforts are made to further enhance the caliber, potential, and diversity of the leadership pipeline.

Efforts are geared to selecting the best-qualified talent from a talent pool that reflects the best people of all backgrounds. The company is equally intentional about Inclusion.

BASF is conducting “Grow and Tell” programs that engage employees at all levels in important conversations on the power of inclusion, moving forward on multiple fronts redefining what it means to be truly inclusive, and conducting pilot studies and developing action plans that meet good intentions with strong results.

The company’s manufacturing community is energized to improve the attraction, selection, and development of female talent. BASF is moving forward with an innovative FLAME (Female Leaders Advancing Manufacturing Excellence) program to enhance the experience of female manufacturing talent through the early and middle years of career progression.

Outreach to young girls to better understand and influence their career choices is proving to be a powerful tool to close job skill gaps that reach across manufacturing. Intense focus is on moving from unconscious bias to conscious inclusion as a means of fully leveraging the power of diversity to achieve competitive advantages for BASF and personal advantages for its employees.



Wayne Smith
Chairman and CEO

“For BASF, being the best we can be and winning in the market demands diversity, with teams of people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives coming together in new ways. Equally important is an inclusive environment where diverse teams are comfortable expressing themselves and confident that their voices will be heard.”


Patricia Rossman
Chief Diversity Officer

“A lot of our work this year has been focused on diversity as a fact and inclusion as a choice, a choice that we make every day. As we work to become more diverse, we are making sure that we are equally strategic and intentional about being inclusive.”



U.S. Headquarters: Florham, N.J.

Global Employees: 115,000

Last Year’s DiversityInc Top 50 Ranking • No. 17


  • No. 3 Talent Acquisition
  • No. 17 Executive Diversity Council
  • No. 17 Veterans
  • LGBT Employees