2023 Top 50: Fireside Chat: Creating Powerful Connections Through DEI

BASF (No. 23 on the 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) North America Chairman and CEO Michael Heinz recently shared insights on how his diverse upbringing and global work experiences have shaped his leadership and understanding of workplace fairness, 

During the fireside chat at Fair360’s Top 50 event in New York City on May 2 (Fair360 was formerly DiversityInc), Fair360 CEO Carolynn Johnson asked Heinz how his global perspective gained from working in various regions of the world has influenced his leadership and understanding of workplace fairness.  

Heinz discussed his upbringing, which included his grandfather, a World War II veteran, having a disability and a family member coming out as gay 30 years ago. Heinz detailed how those experiences shaped his values and made him an ally for marginalized groups.  

He also discussed the differences he observed in working environments between countries such as Germany, Ecuador, Mexico, Switzerland, and the U.S.  

BASF uses data to drive decision-making and ownership of its inclusion initiatives. Heinz explained that BASF, as a science-based company, focuses on selection and retention based on data and drivers, which the leadership team reviews monthly. 

Heinz said that creating a sense of belonging and ensuring equal opportunities in the workplace is crucial for modern organizations. 

“When you’re at the helm of a company, you can do something. You can make sure that there are certain policies and practices and procedures in place … set an example. Make sure there is more equality and there is more feeling of belonging … that is something that I experience with people all around the globe. They want to be themselves. They want to have a sense of belonging, and they certainly want to have equal types of opportunities.” 

Watch the video to hear more from the session. Click here for more articles, videos and photos from the 2023 Top 50 event.