BASF Agricultural Solutions: Building a Culture of Inclusiveness Through Diversity

As people and companies nationwide continue the fight for social justice, diversity and inclusion initiatives have taken a front row seat in the workplace. BASF Agricultural Solutions North America, headquartered in Durham, is at the forefront of this movement in the Triangle; and has truly made it a priority.

 

Hiring a diverse workforce, inclusive of people with different life experiences, abilities, personalities, learning styles, religious beliefs, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or country of origin is not the only part of an impactful strategy. Building an organizational culture that embraces and supports all people, while creating an environment that empowers employees with equitable access to opportunities for growth and development is also imperative to an organization’s overall success. This is how BASF unleashes potential within its “We Create Chemistry” culture.

 

“Diversity and inclusion are part of our commitment to support an environment of trust, openness, and respect,” said Courtney White, head of Human Resources. “Each outcome is demonstrative of our core values. We do what we do as a conviction.”

 

Company Culture and Inclusion

 

BASF has numerous programs in place to ensure current employees have the proper support and outlets to voice feedback and feel included. The company employs a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of harassment, in addition to leveraging the significant guidance of a Diversity & Inclusion Council. Employees are encouraged to participate in a broad range of resource groups and special activities which include groups like the African American Employee Group, ALLchemie (LGBTQ+), Women in Business, and AVID (awareness of visible and invisible disabilities), and there is even an employee band called The Solutions; among numerous others. The company has also created multiple programs, with a special emphasis on the development of diverse leaders, mentorship, engagement, and active listening to solicit feedback from all members of the organization.

 

Having a diverse applicant pool and hiring process are critical in creating a diverse workplace and BASF has guidelines in place to support these much-needed policies. BASF requires 50 percent of candidates to be diverse and 50 percent of interview panels to be diverse. This is supported by an inclusive hiring strategy that further mitigates bias in recruitment and selection by placing greater focus on impact and achievement.

 

BASF’s presence is felt throughout the local community as well. In addition to the extensive internal programs to support diversity and inclusion, BASF is active with Out! Raleigh Pride, the Raleigh Chamber, Women in Agribusiness, the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon, and the Triangle Business Journal’s Leaders in Diversity Awards.

Instead of Blind Spots, We Call It Bias

Courtney J. White, head of Human Resources, speaking at the Workforce Diversity & Inclusion Conference held on August 5, 2020.

Enjoy the Journey

 

As more and more companies look for ways to create a diverse and inclusive environment, it is important to understand a few key things.

 

A documented plan is essential to support the focus and impact of a diversity and inclusion strategy, like all organizational must-wins. The plan should outline where you are today, where you want to go, the desired time horizon, and the relevant metrics. Ultimately, the plan and strategy must be owned and role modeled by everyone in the organization to become a sustainable change and transformation.

 

“Organizations do not decide their futures, they decide their values and their values decide their futures,” said White. “So, let’s choose to value our employees speaking up and speaking out to make a difference within our workforces, within our workplaces, and within our communities.”

 

For more information on BASF’s Diversity + Inclusion initiatives, please visit their diversity site

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