The daughter of a former High Commissioner for Barbados in London, Symmonds grew up in Bridgetown where she played cricket for her school and junior tennis for Barbados. She later attended the University of Reading in England where she studied law.
Her first sports commentary job came in 1985 when she was asked to cover a tennis tournament for a local sports radio station. Impressed by her work, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation persuaded her to try her hand at covering cricket, and in 1987 she covered her first Shell Shield match. She moved on to covering West Indies Test cricket, and her first commentary was West Indies vs Pakistan at Barbados in 1988. As the first female commentator to cover Test cricket in the West Indies, she initially brought mixed reactions from listeners, but is now accepted as an able and experienced broadcaster.
In 1998, Symmonds was invited by the BBC to join the Test Match Special team during the 1998 England tour of the West Indies, making her the first female TMS commentator. She also provided commentary for the 1999 Cricket World Cup and the 2000 West Indian tour of England as part of the TMS team. As well as her radio work, she also provides commentary for televised cricket.
Outside of cricket, Symmonds is a practising lawyer with her own firm in Bridgetown, and has also worked as a special sports envoy to the Barbados Ministry of Tourism.
- "Test Match Special: Donna Symmonds". BBC. 24 July 2000. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- Edmands, Michael (26 August 2000). "Passing her final test". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- Baker, Andrew (23 May 2007). "TMS raises bat for 50 not out". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-09-14.
- "The BBC Radio 4 Team". BBC. 1999-04-15. Retrieved 2007-09-14.