In engineering, collaboration is as important as technical knowledge

Interview | July 14, 2023

Queena-Xin Ma joined ABB 16 years ago. She is currently Technical Support Specialist in charge of ABB’s flowmeter product portfolio in China. We talk to her about her journey in engineering.    

Meet ABB’s Queena-Xin Ma. Her career in engineering took off right after graduating from university in her native China. With a degree in automation and measurement, she accepted a job at an automation company, a natural choice for someone with her education.  

She clearly remembers a pivotal moment from her early days in her first job. She had applied for a role on a team working on a demanding project, only to be told: "This is a job that requires you to forget your gender.”  

Looking back, Queena reflects that this was a clear sign that many things still needed to change in the world of engineering.   

“This remark gave me the impression that I would have to prove myself - every day. But I accepted the challenge. And because of that, I am where I am today. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes!” 


Queena’s journey at ABB

Queena says that while solid technical knowledge is essential to succeed in the STEM field, it is far from the only requirement that every professional, regardless of gender, should meet.  

Her journey at ABB has been all about opportunity and growth. And about collaboration.  

“Collaboration is an ABB value, and it is at the heart of how I carry out my responsibilities. The projects I work on involve many different teams and many different customers. Therefore, cooperation is a path as well as an ability.” 

One proud moment for her is making ABB’s WaterMaster flowmeter a star product in the flowmeter portfolio.  

“It took a couple of years of continuous internal technical trainings and external promotion, but now what used to be an unknown product is the star of our portfolio with sales volumes to back up the success.” 

The WaterMaster flowmeter is a special electromagnetic flowmeter, which is used in the water supply network in cities all over China and all over the world to save precious water. 


Gender and equality

Queena believes that ABB and her team are very good at diversity and inclusion.  

“The most obvious way we practice these values is the equal treatment of men and women. When employees are hired or promoted, this is done solely based on their ability. At the same time, we support women through motherhood, for example by establishing a mother and baby room.” 

But she adds that although the world and industry are changing, there is still much work to be done in terms of gender equality.  

“That is why, for girls and women just starting out in a STEM careers, I would recommend looking for companies that value and reinforce diversity and equality among their employees. Just find your happy place and thrive there!” 

As for how the engineering industry can attract and retain more women, she says that the achievements and strengths of women in engineering show be showcased more often.  

“Just like we are doing now.” 

When it comes to work-life balance and whether it is harder to balance her personal and professional life as a woman engineer, she says that work-life balance is an important topic for both men and women.  

“ABB advocates a good balance between life and work, such as setting family day activities, encouraging people to take annual leave, setting up gyms in the office, and offering special talks on mental health. I think ABB has done a good job so far. Let’s keep it up.” 


About Queena-Xin Ma 

Queena-Xin Ma joined ABB in China in 2007. She is currently Technical Support Specialist in charge of ABB’s flowmeter product portfolio in China.  

Years at ABB: 16 years

Initiatives/products worked on so far: AquaMaster, WaterMaster, ProcessMaster

Superpower: Analytical thinking

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