Connecting Diverse Teams to Business Outcomes

Referred to as the mayor of Silicon Valley, Rachel Taylor is known for unlocking the potential of early stage technology companies.

Taylor has a history of helping technology companies translate their vision into executable operating plans and talent strategies. As vice president of operations of Rocana, she is accountable for day-to-day business operations, focusing on scaling the organization to achieve its goals and ultimately the corporate bottom line.

Her colleagues say she builds diverse teams and forges strong cultures that become the foundation for growth and differentiation. “I believe that a diverse company full of great people and a well-defined mission will find success in whatever path they choose,” Taylor said.

Her ability to build companies with great cultures has played a pivotal role in propelling various Silicon Valley companies to success. Prior to joining Rocana, Taylor was global head of talent acquisition and development at Cloudera, where she doubled headcount within a year to meet the company’s aggressive business goals. She has held a variety of other leadership roles at technology companies including Clearside, Meraki (acquired by Cisco), Peakstream (acquired by Google), Riverbed, and VMware.

Taylor’s understanding of technology as a driver for disruption made her a leader from an early age, writing her first computer program in second grade, graduating high school at 14, and college at 19. She has built her career working with co-founders who were passionate about building great companies with superior technology products.

“Running operations is in my blood! I’ve always had a strong propensity to be the one running things and organizing others to achieve the desired outcome, while ensuring everyone’s needs are met and they are happy,” she said. Taylor believes diversity is a core requirement in building a great company and directly impacts its overall potential. She said employees must feel like it’s their company, they have a voice, and they care about its success as much as the founders. Rocana is 72 percent diverse across age, gender, race, and orientation.

Taylor said all leaders, especially female leaders, should have grit, resilience, and tenacity. “Grit to push through the challenging obstacles in business that many women still face. Resilience to bounce back and continue tackling new problems without being weighed down by previous issues; and tenacity to continue fighting the fight even when things are complicated,” she said. “Figure it out, get what you need to accomplish the task, get it done and move on to the next challenge. You are the master of your destiny; don’t let others determine your fate – own it,” she added.