Photo Courtesy of Sonoco.
Sonoco is a five-billion-dollar company that believes diversity gives it an edge — in its markets, in its products and on its team.
Sonoco ensures the diversity of its business operations is also reflected in its leadership, for example. In fact, the company invests 10% of every dollar earned back into diversity initiatives.
This investment has helped the company earn a 4.7 out of five rating for overall employee satisfaction on Fairygodboss, with female reviewers saying Sonoco does “a great job recruiting women.”
Sonoco’s diversity initiatives are truly unique, continuing long after a candidate is hired.
Within the company, female talent is advocated for and encouraged at every level. Employees aren’t limited to one preconceived and singular career path. Rather, everyone has the opportunity to pave the way to their own future success. Plus, they’re encouraged to pursue their interests while maintaining a healthy work-life balance, allowing for professional and personal growth to happen hand-in-hand.
“Sonoco has an unbelievable foundation of core values,” one anonymous reviewer wrote on Fairygodboss. “Our executive leaders firmly believe in doing the right thing. They afford a tremendous amount of career growth opportunities and have been making an incredible amount of investments in things like our healthcare plans.”
One of these leaders, Director of Policy & Compliance, Anne Marie Lopiccolo, recently told Fairygodboss more about what makes the company a uniquely supportive workplace from the perspective of an ambitious professional woman. Find out more below.
What is the mission of Sonoco?
Sonoco is a $5.4 billion global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective solutions, and display and packaging services. From its headquarters in Hartsville, South Carolina, and more than 330 operations in more than 30 countries, the company produces packaging for a variety of industries and many of the world’s most-recognized brands. It serves customers in 85 nations.
Sonoco is the world's largest producer of paperboard containers, and it’s a leading manufacturer of tubes and cores; convenience closures; consumer and industrial thermoformed plastic packaging; engineered molded and extruded plastic products; and protective, temperature and retail assurance packaging.
What are Sonoco’s core values?
Our core values are integrity, respect, service, teamwork and accountability.
We built our common culture on the Guiding Principle that “people build businesses by doing the right thing.” And that right thing extends to how we work with our customers and how we treat each other with dignity and respect regardless of race, religion, color or creed.
Our strength as a company comes from celebrating and embracing the diversity of our teammates around the world and applying their unique perspectives and ideas. It’s our belief that the character and strengths of individuals are multiplied when they are unleashed as part of a team in a collaborative, safe and supportive environment.
We also believe that for us to prosper as a company, each individual must be allowed the opportunity to be themselves and succeed in a safe environment. As our No. 1 priority, safety goes beyond simply the physical environment we create — it includes the cultural one as well. We are committed to creating a safe space for teammates to share ideas, to take measured risks, to explore new opportunities and to be who they are. These ideals are found in one set of common values which have been protected and nurtured for more than 120 years and allow us to achieve our shared purpose: Better Packaging, Better Life.
Our legacy, our purpose, our values and our guiding principle are something we share as a company, no matter where we are in the world or where we are in our career.
What differentiates it from others in this space?
Sonoco is unique because we don’t just do one thing; we’re diversified in many different markets including consumer, industrial and healthcare. We have competitors in individual industries, but we don’t have competitors that do all the things we do.
Describe some of the employee benefits that positively impact women who work at Sonoco.
Our medical insurance covers mammograms and colonoscopies, 100% preventive, at any age. Many of our rural sites bring in mobile mammography units to ensure easy access to screenings.
In 2021, we will cover all fertility treatments ($20k medical, $10k prescription drugs).
Sonoco reduces medical premiums for employees who get their annual biometric screening.
Most sites have their own digital community space where local community information is shared. This is commonly used to secure regular or back up childcare along with other household services.
Well-embedded policies on flexible working are designed to meet individual needs.
What career development opportunities can female job seekers expect from Sonoco? How is career pathing approached?
At Sonoco, we believe that people build businesses, and we are committed to giving our employees every opportunity to use their talent, skill, passion and creativity to grow themselves, their careers and our company. Our employees rated Sonoco with a 78% positive engagement score, and we’ve retained 96% of exceptional and promotable talent. Our learning culture is strong and encourages everyone to take ownership of their careers. We also don’t limit our employees to the traditional career ladder or succession plan. For many of our employees, their career path looks more like a subway map than a ladder. You can create your own path and pursue your interests.
We speak 18 languages, but our people-first philosophy remains the same. We only seek suppliers who share our beliefs and invest 10% of every dollar in diversity initiatives. People love working here because their ideas are heard and encouraged, regardless of background or level.
Is there anything else women should know about pursuing a career at Sonoco? What about women who want to grow their careers at the company?
The women in leadership at Sonoco feel strongly about supporting other women. It is very important to us that you feel that you can grow your career and grow your family at the same time, and as a company, we are actively dedicated to improving our representation at senior leadership levels.
The Sonoco Diversity & Inclusion Council’s mission is to create a diverse workforce within an inclusive environment by sponsoring and guiding the activities of our teams and fostering diversity & inclusion education, awareness and communication throughout Sonoco globally. Within the Diversity & Inclusion Council, the [email protected] business resource group works to provide a supportive space for female employees while also educating and raising awareness within the organization about challenges facing women in the workforce. Partnership with other business resource groups such as Sonoco Young Professionals, Black [email protected], and the LGBTQ+ groups ensure that specific challenges of intersectionality are recognized and addressed.
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