A career where you’ll always feel you belong

Creating a culture of inclusion is at the heart of everything we do.

At DS Smith we have around 29,000 talented individuals working across three Continents – from China to North America – and we’re growing every day. Together we are all working to build a more sustainable world. To make that possible, we are creating a culture of inclusion, where everyone is respected and valued - and where everyone has a voice and can thrive.  

Our aim is simple: to make you the very best at what you do, regardless of your race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical or mental ability, religious or ethical values system, national origin or political beliefs.

We have zero tolerance for discrimination

We have firm policies on equal opportunities and discrimination of any kind.

Our Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination policy and training are available in multiple languages to ensure all job applicants, employees and contingent workers receive equal treatment regardless of age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity or any other characteristic protected by local law.

Our Speak Up! policy is here to encourage any employee that believes they’ve witnessed or experienced discrimination or unethical behaviour to ask for advice or raise their concerns via a confidential, independent, 24/7 telephone number and website that is available in local languages.


Our approach to Diversity & Inclusion has three pillars

Visible leadership

Our senior leadership is role-modelling inclusive leadership.

  • A clear narrative on why D&I matters to us.
  • Inclusive leadership workshops with 120 of our senior leaders.
  • Clearly visible ambition and progress to external stakeholders.
  • ‘Reverse Mentoring’ pilots so our leadership can gain a 360° view of D&I challenges and learn from their colleagues from different backgrounds.
  • Regular and positive engagement with our people on D&I.
  • A new Health & Wellbeing framework.

Active networks

The D&I conversation is evident across our business. 

  • Group-wide D&I forums to reinforce our corporate intent. These include lively roundtable events with external speakers on a range of diversity and inclusion topics.
  • Local inclusion networks, such as LGBTQ+ & Allies Network and Ethnic & Cultural Diversity Network, that drive action and share learning in major markets and key operational sites.
  • A calendar of inclusion events across our business, including International Women’s Day and Black History Month.
  • Working with the European Works Council and developing employability partnerships.

People processes

We have growing awareness and advocacy of D&I.

  • Equal opportunities training on all our sites.
  • Multi-language Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination policy and training.
  • D&I is embedded in our employee value proposition and ways of working.
  • A D&I ‘lens’ informs our talent reviews & development actions.
  • Actively target the recruitment and retention of women and other under-represented groups.
  • Gaining awareness as an inclusive employer.

Meet Socky

Inclusion has no boundaries

Around the world we are creating a workplace that our people are proud of. However, as a global business, we know diversity and inclusion challenges differ between our counties and regions. So we translate our policies and procedures into our 8 core languages and have established a diversity and inclusion forum with broad representation to build the local networks and action plans needed to deliver consistency and have the greatest positive impact for our people and communities they serve, wherever that may be in the world.

Our culture of inclusion also helps us to check our workforce reflects the communities we operate in, and the customers we serve. As we grow, we’ll improve our understanding of local priorities and expand our strategy to include other under-represented, under-protected groups and under-privileged groups which we currently support via the Ernst & Young Foundation.

We are supporting women and we are transparent on equal pay

Historically it’s been tough to attract women into our industry, but we are determined to change that.  We are a corporate member of the WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) campaign that promotes opportunities for women in STEM careers and are showcasing our female talent and demonstrating the diversity of opportunities available across our business.

We are currently ranked 4th in our industry sector (general industrials) for Board diversity, with 37.5% women on our plc board. At the other end of the career ladder we are proud to have gender parity in our graduate offers.

It is our objective to provide equal pay for work of equal value in a safe and productive working environment. For gender pay gap reporting we go above and beyond our legal obligations and report across all our sites. This year our mean gender pay gap was 3.5% but to move further we are actively encouraging more women in senior positions, where women now make up a third of all our global senior management population.

We support our female employees with extended mentoring and executive coaching support. We are also actively recruiting women who have paused successful careers to have a baby with a Returnship Programme which includes re-training and other life-management skills.

Meet Shona