Never stop being curious about the next big thing in technology

Interview | May 9, 2023

Diana Garcia from ABB’s Measurement & Analytics is an accomplished technology leader who has successfully implemented many R&D and innovation projects at ABB. We talked to her about her career in STEM and engineering.

Curiosity drives Diana Garcia every day and keeps her going no matter what challenges come her way.

“I love my job because, by applying the knowledge I have, I can create technical solutions for different industries and thus make them more innovative, more sustainable, and overall – much better.”

Reflecting on her experience, Diana recalls that some time ago the STEM field wasn’t a popular educational and career path for women.

“When I was at university studying electronics engineering, women made up less than 10% of all students. We were always seen as a distinct minority back then.”

But this did not stop Diana from pursuing her passion, beginning her journey in her native Colombia. Right after graduation she moved to Switzerland and, today, after many professional adventures, she believes that those looking for innovation and improvement can find true satisfaction and enjoyment in the STEM field. 


The “good” old expectations vs. my reality

Did she face any prejudice at the beginning of her career? 

“Yes, as a woman I encountered a pretty clear expectation that I was to achieve the same results as my male colleague. Did I succeed? Naturally, I did!”

Diana found that competence and the right attitude were a powerful combination for fighting outdated stereotypes. 

Another example she gives is related to motherhood. 

“When I became a mother, everyone expected that I would stop growing as a professional, because it was assumed that this was a natural time for a woman to give up her career and focus on family and parenting. And there is, of course, nothing wrong with that.”

In her case, however, she was convinced that she could be a mother while also expanding her professional life. 

“Having a baby did not disqualify me from contributing to the business. I just needed to organize my surroundings and spend quality time with my family.“

Luckily, she was not alone. 

“My husband was there to support me and share responsibility for our family. He wanted me to advance in my career because he believed in me and my abilities.”

Curiosity and a strong desire to contribute to business development empowered Diana to successfully reconcile the two roles and, over time, to grow in several companies and in various roles, such as R&D Engineer, Product Manager, and – currently – Lead for the industry segments in Business Line Instrumentation at ABB. 


Shifting from "I" to "we"

Diana started working for ABB in 2014. 

“After 9 years, I have to admit that the opportunity to collaborate with others is something I have consistently valued in my daily work. We are all individuals and professionals, each in our own right, but when it comes to accomplishing a goal, ‘I’ transforms into ‘we’. It is a completely natural mindset for everyone on the team.”

According to Diana, working in the field of innovation involves both short-term and long-term projects, and their culmination is an exciting moment that brings a sense of fulfilment.

“As a Product Manager at ABB, I experienced one of my greatest successes as well as true teamwork. We were launching the MegaFlex DPA UPS product for large Data Center facilities. The Data Center industry is a big energy consumer, affecting the local  environment. To keep servers available 24/7, the infrastructure needed continuous and clean power.”

The team worked on this project for more than two years, and eventually the product was recognized as a 1000+ solution by the Solar Impulse Foundation, while the ABB team was recognized as a leader in electrification innovation in 2020. 

“But it's also important not to give up when we fail. Failures are a learning path for everyone and actually they help us to ultimately succeed. Failure is not a reason to be ashamed, but rather a motivator to find another way to succeed.”


Sharing experiences – a great way to learn

During her time at ABB, Diana has met many experts from whom she could learn.

“For me, Amina Hamidi, currently Managing Director Business Line Instrumentation, is one such person. I am grateful and honoured that we have collaborated on many projects over the years. I have been challenged during my career to start new product lines and lead initiatives. Amina has always believed in my work and guided me to get the best possible outcomes. She empowers me to go through challenges with these words: ‘Yes, you can do it and you can accomplish even more!’”

Because Diana believes that the most valuable lessons are learned through experience, she is a big believer in sharing them with others. 

“This is especially true in fields such as STEM, which are still associated with many stereotypes.”

On several occasions, she has mentored younger female colleagues who were starting in the profession. 

“For me, this has been a rewarding experience. Every time, I endeavour to instil in them the belief that anything is possible. I ensure that our meetings and conversations convey one clear message: ‘You can do it, you are valuable, you can do it!’”


About Diana

Diana Garcia is Industry Segment Initiative Leader at ABB Measurement & Analytics. Based in Switzerland, she joined ABB in 2014 as a Product Manager for industrial UPS. After establishing this industrial portfolio, Diana started her next project for the Data Center Industry. She also led the Data Center Initiative inside Smart Power, Electrification until the end of 2020.

Years at ABB: 9 years

Initiatives/products worked on so far: 10+

Superpower: Curiosity.

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