BASF Corp. isn't resting on its laurels as a leader in workplace diversity.
Florham Park, N.J.-based BASF — a major supplier of specialty plastics and related materials — in May was named as one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc. The firm ranked 12th in 2021 after coming in at 14th in 2020.
It's the ninth consecutive year that BASF has made the ranking. The firm also was recognized as a top company for environmental, social and governance (ESG) for its corporate social responsibility and philanthropic programs, practices and investments.
"We understand and value diversity as being important for our business to be successful and for us to serve the needs of our customers," BASF executive Marquisa Nash said in a recent phone interview. "We need to focus on diversity and inclusion to reflect the companies that we serve."
Nash is human resources head for BASF's North American Performance Materials business. She's been with BASF since 2015.
DiversityInc, a diversity-focused website founded in 1998, recognizes top companies for diversity and inclusion management. The organization singles out companies with business strategies based on attracting, developing and retaining great talent from all backgrounds and leveraging the power of different perspectives to drive business growth.
DiversityInc's rankings are based on 2020 company-submitted data in six areas: leadership accountability, human capital diversity metrics, talent programs, workforce practices, supplier diversity and philanthropy.
BASF Corp. has set a goal of reaching 30 percent female and 30 percent minority external hiring rates, Nash said. Its parent firm, BASF SE of Ludwigshafen, Germany, also has a goal of having 30 percent female global leadership by 2030.
"We're always evaluating and looking at our scorecard for the region and looking to retain talent," Nash said. "We want to create a level of awareness and understanding in our hiring decisions."
Nash cited her own personal example at BASF to show how the firm's leaders "reflect that commitment" to diversity.
"BASF was the first company that I've worked for where I saw and worked with people who looked like me at management levels," she said. "That's extremely rewarding."
BASF Corp. employs about 17,000 in North America and had sales of $18.7 billion in 2020. Globally, BASF SE employs more than 110,000 and had 2020 sales of more than $69 billion.
BASF was the first company that I've worked for where I saw and worked with people who looked like me at management levels. That's extremely rewarding."