As director of systems engineering for L3 Communication Systems– West, a division of L3 Technologies, Inc., Aurora Taylor-Rojas’s responsibilities include technical architectures, system solutions and technical program execution. She has been with the company since she served as a college intern. After graduation, she was hired as an RF and modem design engineer, and soon promoted to manager of the Advanced Modem and Waveform group, then to director of hardware development and, four years ago, to her present role.

Born in Durango, Mexico, Taylor- Rojas earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering at the University of Utah. During her senior year, she was president of the IEEE University chapter. She currently serves as the chair of the University of Utah Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board.

A member of the Japan International Karate Do Center, Taylor-Rojas has won six consecutive Utah Open championships. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s Karate team in 1997, 2003 and 2005, and has competed at international competitions. She also greatly enjoys participating in triathlons and spending time in the mountains.

Diversity is vital to business success according to Taylor-Rojas. When leaders build diverse teams and welcome different points of view, creativity is enhanced, innovation is increased and the outcome of every task is improved. “Experience has shown me that establishing an inclusive team environment in which everyone has a voice, encourages those of diverse backgrounds to share their unique approaches and ideas,” she explains. Individuals, companies and clients all benefit from a strong diversity and inclusion program.

Taylor-Rojas offers this advice to women building professional careers: “Work hard and step up to challenges. It is when we are stretched past our comfort level that we learn and grow the most. So if you are offered a task, role or job that seems a bit scary, step up and take it. Every risk I have taken has been a great opportunity.”