For Danielle Cox, the road to becoming a businesswoman has been filled with plenty of twists, turns, and glitter. That’s right, glitter. Not only is Cox the head of IT for a technology company, but she’s also Miss USA 2023 in the Continental Worldwide Pageant. She started competing in pageants because it gave her a broader audience and more power to effect change in the community. She has used those same lessons of stepping up and speaking out in her role as a woman leader in a male-dominated industry.
Cox is a trained and licensed cosmetologist who began working in an office because it gave her benefits, which she needed as a single mom. Her passion for structure and efficiency helped her thrive in the IT industry. In her line of work, it’s not uncommon to be the only woman in the room. While she is happy to represent women in technology, she says, “The biggest thing that we need to do is have more women in the space. We get there by being a woman in the space, but also by advocating for other women. So it’s our job as women to uplift other women, to bring them along with us, to mentor, to show them how we got there, to deliver that path.”
One way she has done this is by helping found a women’s employee resource group at her company. This has evolved into a formal mentorship group with regular meetings, events, and guest speakers. Cox has found this is a simple but effective way to help foster women’s voices, help them feel connected, and lift and grow together.
When it comes to wanting more women to join and succeed in the technology space, Danielle Cox knowsa woman’s perspective is necessary to get the best results. She said, “Whenever we have a place where all diversities are not represented, it silos what we are doing as a society, but also the products and the outcome of the things that we have. So if women are not in the room making those decisions and being a part of it, then we’re not going to be represented in the outcome.”
While Cox is proud to be a woman and represent women in her industry, she believes there is always room for more. “The best advice that I have for women is, come and join us! Come be with us! The best thing you can do is join the industry.” And she is quick to add that you don’t have to be tech-focused to join the tech industry. There are plenty of careers for women of any talent and education type. She encourages women to find their area of interest. “Come and join us! Come get into tech!”