About Heidelberg International Professional Women’s Forum

Since 2020 HIP e.V. is a registered organisation and was approved to work for the benefit of the public by the tax authorities (Gemeinnützigkeit).

Our Vision and Mission

The purpose of the Heidelberg International Professional (HIP) Women’s Forum is to bring together women from various international firms and backgrounds to exchange ideas, learn from one another’s experiences, and develop skills that will enhance both professional and personal success. Our hope is that such a forum will also provide an opportunity to connect women who are seeking new challenges and directions with others who have distinguished themselves in their profession and community.

Our Values

  • Contribute to the advancement of women
  • Facilitate learning and professional development
  • Peer mentoring through networking
  • Fun!

Benefits of being a member

We offer a welcoming community for business networking in a relaxed environment. HIP can be a platform for testing your professional ideas and dreams and an opportunity to learn and develop new skills. In our network you can be sure to receive encouragement, support and feedback and to have fun. To help us achieve our objectives, the HIP Women’s Forum provides a full program of events for professional networking and leadership education throughout the year. We charge a membership fee of 60€ per year which we use to fund public and internal events, such as the HIP Carousel. Members can participate in these events free of charge. Guests are welcome and will be charged individually per event depending on the type of event (15-35€ per event).

Our history

The HIP Women’s Forum was founded 2007 as an informal network of international women in the Rhein-Neckar region by Shuchi Sharma, who was soon joined by Fabiana Bianchi, Jennifer Watson, Frédérique Thiriet-Smith and Stefanie Gerlach. They had the vision of bringing together international women of the Rhein Neckar region who share international backgrounds and professions in order to build a platform for professional development and a network to promote the individual and collective potential of each member. Women working for multinational companies abroad or in an international environment face many of the same challenges related to being a female professional in a foreign country. At HIP we help one another to grow and achieve personal and professional success.

Steering Committee

Martina Knobloch HIP Steering Committee

Martina Knobloch PhD

Head of HIP Steering Committee

Martina is a Marketing & Event Professional with a scientific background. She set up her own business in Marketing and Event project management. With a strong sense of responsibility, she supports her customers depending on the demands. This „Marketing on Demand“ concept in an international business environment motivates her. For more information see Martina Knobloch, Marketing, Kommunikation, Events.

Wiebke Wetzel Kundenzauberin Customer Experience Trainer

Wiebke Wetzel PhD

Member of HIP Steering Committee & HIP Webmaster

Wiebke did her PhD in science. She changed careers to work in technical support for an international biotechnology company and was soon appointed a manager. After nearly 9 years in technical support and support management she set up her own business as the Kundenzauberin. She does customer service trainings and management workshops on customer centricity as well as leadership trainings. Training and facilitation is the one thing she likes to do most – besides horses, sketchnoting & graphic recording, photography and creating beautiful websites.

Maria Barros Weiss

Maria Barros Weiss PhD

Member of HIP Steering Committee

Maria is VP of Digital Ecosystems Solutions at IONOS. With more than 20 years of work experience, she has been involved in several ICT areas, such as Data-ecosystems, Cloud, 5G, IoT, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing. She holds a master’s degree in Computers and Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Communications and Language technologies. Before she joined IONOS, she was program coordinator of the international funding program Eureka Celtic-Next and was in charge of international project coordination and management roles. Maria is Portuguese, living in Germany since 2008, married and mother of two boys.  

Frédérique Thiriet-Smith

Frédérique Thiriet-Smith

Member of HIP Steering Committee

Frédérique is French, living in Heidelberg since 1999. She is a HIP member from the very beginning and is passionate about the human side of change, knowledge exchange and learning. She is a natural networker and a “senior digital native”, supporting others’ learning. Amazed about the progress of technology since she studied Computing sciences …some time ago, she enjoys all opportunities to collaborate at a worldwide scale. With more than 30 years professional experience alternating employment with self-employment for international companies in diverse industries, she has worked as project manager, team leader, consultant and coach with focus on strategy implementation, global collaboration, adoption of changes, and knowledge exchange. Her favourite hobbies and interests are cooking with friends, hiking, travelling, sustainability, leadership in the digital age, sciences and technologies, learning and girls education.

Pooja Mohnani HIP e.V.

Pooja Mohnani

Member of HIP Steering Committee

Pooja Mohnani is Indian, who loves to be engaged with people and places. She enjoys the diversity of thoughts and people and became a HIP member in 2016.

She draws more than decade of experience in Research, Teaching and Training. Expert in curriculum design and new content development she likes to collaborate and innovates, with use of the digital technology to bring sustainability. She has experience in teaching at postgraduate and graduate level.

Currently working as Project Manager at EURESCOM GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany. She serves as external faculty at SRH University, Heidelberg, Germany. She believes in Digitization and Collaborating in World Wide Web environment.

Her interests are gardening, travelling, learning and exploring, She believes in service leadership and is a new work aspirant! 

portrait of Janine Matje, Heidelberg Progfessional Women's Forum

Janine Matje

Member of HIP Steering Committee

Janine loves bringing people together for a diverting time. During her work in the field of library and information science she discovered her passion for imparting knowledge and skills in an entertaining manner. She enjoys offering interactive lessons in schools as a teacher librarian.

Besides teaching she set up her own business Die Bauchentscheidung for being a presenter and tour guide. She also welcomes groups and teams to design culinary pleasures or discover the old Heidelberg town with its brewery specialties. From her experience as a teamleader she also creates workshops using methods from applied improvisational theatre as new ways of finding creativity.

Janine is happily married, loves to cook and relaxes by practicing yoga and playing ukulele.

Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum