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2017 HIP international women's day

International Women’s day with HIP in Heidelberg

The official International Women’s Day theme 2017 was


At HIP we met on Wednesday March 8th to celebrate the day and to reflect on:

  • Where are we now?
  • What’s being done by the system?
  • What can we as individuals do to impact this equation?

We had a full house for the panel discussion. After a brief run through of some basic statistics to set the stage, our speakers shared their perspective of what is actually happening with gender equality in the region. Whether from the sciences, academia, the corporate world or the entrepreneurial angle there remains a huge gap to close to achieve parity in the world of work. So now what?

Quotas and having role models have been shown to be effective when properly employed.

But what can we do about it?

As the discussion turned to brainstorming ideas of being bold and searching for what we as individuals could be doing to move things along there seemed to be hesitation.  Little by little some ideas emerged including: mentoring another woman, creating groups to support one another, and examining our own biases via the Harvard Business School Implicit Association Test (IAT).

None-the-less this is a sign that our engagement for women’s development is not finished.  We at HIP need to keep the discussion alive and growing to speed up change and advance our own empowerment.


Picture by Edu Lauton on Unsplash.com, Creative Commons Zero lincence

International Women’s day with HIP in Heidelberg

Advancing Leadership and Self-Development for Business Women

The 2016 Women’s Day theme was #PledgeForParity and while it activated organizations to strive for gender equality it has become clear that the road is still a long and winding way. The Economic Forum Report predicts that the gap will only be closed in 2186. We can all agree that it is far too long to wait for gender equality.

So this year the official International Women’s Day theme is #BeBoldForChange.  Let us pause to reflect on:

  • Where are we now?
  • What’s being done by the system?
  • What can we as individuals do to impact this equation?

To explore this theme we will have a panel of diverse members bring you their particular angle on the subject.  From Education, through Science, including entrepreneurial and corporate angles, we will take the temperature of where we’re at and interact with our audience to brain-storm out-of-the-box actions we as individuals can take to impact the trajectory.

We will begin with a buffet dinner and networking, launching the Panel Discussion at 19:30. So bring your ideas and join us for an interactive exchange to make things happen!

Looking forward to a lively evening and some enthusiastic engagement for actions which can make a difference.

Please let us know if you will join us for the Women’s Day celebration in this Doodle poll.

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Attention Everyone! As Women’s Day falls on the second Wednesday of the month this year, please note that there will not be a separate ‘HIP Night Out’ meeting in March.
HIP international women's day 2016

Women Helping Women: An International Women’s Day Presentation

HIP Women’s Forum was thrilled to have Uta Anders speak to a group of 47 women on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2016 at the ADAC Office in Heidelberg.

The event started with the registration in a welcoming atmosphere, where beverages and food were provided. The food was catered by HIP Member Juliah Rais-Morres. Some enjoyed a glass of prosecco, while others had delicious food and said hello to each other.

After networking for a while, the women found themselves a seat with a little scented candle on it, a welcome gift from Cheryl Sweeney of Yankee Candle. Every woman introduced herself by telling her nationality, what she did for a living and what brought her to the Rhine-Neckar Region and to HIP.

Then the guest speaker Uta Anders was introduced to us by HIP Steering Committee Head Cheryl Sweeney and Uta told us her career story at the company ThyssenKrupp, where she works as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Throughout her story, she touched on themes of hard work, opportunity, living abroad and being comfortable where she lived.

Last year, as a lot of refugees started arriving in Europe and at the Patrick-Henry-Village (PHV) in Heidelberg, Uta wanted to help and had the idea of doing a project there. A long time practitioner of yoga in a local yoga studio, she decided to organize a weekly yoga/movement class for women and girls at PHV.

Uta asked for help from the Diakonisches Werk Heidelberg, the yoga studio where she usually did classes and her friends. Through Facebook she was able to coordinate teachers and helpers to show up at the assigned room to conduct the moving/yoga classes.

At their first class, they were ready to go but no one showed up! So a flyer was created and handed out to the people at the PHV. The flyer was even translated into Arabic but still no one showed up.

Uta hung in there, kept handing out flyers and showing up with her group. Around the third or fourth time, women and girls came and really enjoyed the chance to move, relax and dance. The effort, at first known as “Yoga For Help” transitioned into “Yoga for Hope” which explains the feelings of hope and community that is created through this activity. And not just for the women and girls, but for Uta and her friends as well.

Uta talked about the achievements she made through ‘Yoga for Hope’ and how much happiness was added to her life by the people who she met at the yoga group. Uta said that nothing could give you more joy then the hope and happiness you give to the people around you.

The women at the event were then invited to discuss and share any ideas they had for the refugees and for helping other women.  After more food, beverages and networking a wonderful evening came to an end and left all the participating women with a lot of fulfillment and good thoughts.

Written by HIP Member Silvia Schukraft; photos by HIP Member Larisa Balanovskaya, contact her for any full size images.

2015 HIP Shuchi Sharma building your own brand

The Importance of Building Your Own Brand

Over 35 women from the Rhine Neckar region gathered together on International Women’s Day on March 8th to listen to a presentation from Regina Mehler, founder and CEO of the Women Speaker Foundation based in Munich. She has executive marketing experience in the IT and communications fields for over twenty years, and is the author of the book The Phoenix Effect.

Shuchi Sharma Heidelberg International Professional Women's ForumThe late morning event started off with about 45 minutes of networking and then introductions delivered by HIP Steering Committee Head Cheryl Sweeney and HIP Founder Shuchi Sharma. Shuchi told the story of the founding of the HIP Women’s Forum and mentioned the famous quote by Madeleine Albright, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” Both touched on the uniqueness of the day and the opportunity for the group to be able to get together to support each other.

Shuchi then introduced Regina who spoke without slides (to everyone’s appreciation!) and discussed her background, how she came up with the title for her book (from a poll from friends and colleagues), her experiences in becoming a keynote speaker, and finding other women and helping them to stand out as speakers with expertise in their fields.

With the Women Speaker Foundation she has created a dynamic pool of women from which large and small companies can find ideal speakers for their events, conferences and meetings. She reiterated that, through this journey, she has stuck to the idea that if we come across something we don’t like, we need to mention it and talk about it, and that has guided her to mission to get more women in speaking engagements and influencing positions in companies.

Her 5 points for building your own brand are:

  1. Say yes
  2. Define your expert level
  3. Do your own marketing
  4. Practice
  5. Network

Regina Mehler at the Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum EventThroughout her talk, she took questions from the audience and encouraged dialogue from attendees. Topics like social media branding, importance of your clothing and style in presenting your self, and building a sound support group all came up during the one and a half hour presentation.

The women attending thoroughly enjoyed the speech and appreciated Regina’s approachable manner, sound advice and powerful message. Networking and chatting resumed after the presentation.

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2015

Location: Conference Room at the ADAC, Heidelberg, through the generous sponsorship of the Deutsche Bank

See the gallery below for photos from the event. Should you be interested in having a high resolution version of any of the photos, please contact HIP Steering Committee Member Christine Funke.