Heidelberg International Professional Women's Forum

2015 HIP Carousel

Networking, Energy & Connection at the First HIP Carousel

What looked like a trade fair, it was an event with a unique intention and a friendly atmosphere. And that made all the difference in the quality of the HIP Carousel: International Women at Work event last Saturday, October 17, 2015.

The intention was: service to others.  How can we share all we have learned to spur other women on to reaching their dreams. Over 150 people, including participants and volunteers, showed up and took part in the first ever event like this by HIP. HIP Founder Shuchi Sharma and HIP Founding Member Fabiana Bianchi joined for the day, leading the round table discussions and provided inspiring beginning and ending speeches for the day.

Held in the DAI’s Grand Hall the event was organized around different themes and areas.

The Business Owner section was the largest – 19 tables of independent women sharing their experiences of building a business.

2015 HIP Carousel business owners entrepreneuers


The Corporate, Academic and the Sciences table brought the combined experience of dozens of women to our visitors.  Our members shared the obstacles they faced and the resources they discovered as they develop their careers. We’re hoping our visitors will be able to apply those lessons immediately.

2015 HIP Carousel corporate, academia & science women table



The two Round Table discussions covered Work/Life Balance and presented and compared the advantages of being self-employed with those who are employed.

2015 HIP Carousel podium discussions

What were some of the highlights from those discussions?

  • One thing everyone agreed on was that the learning acquired while working in a company can pay off handsomely when you decide to go self-employed.
  • That the structure an employer provides, as well as a regular income, are a huge plus in terms of security and peace of mind.
  • That starting your own business is not for the faint at heart, but provides enormous flexibility to schedule your working hours to suit your needs.
  • That being your own boss comes with a liberating feeling of doing what you love, the way you want to do it.

A series of mini-presentations, individuals telling their stories throughout the day, was a real crowd-pleaser. Held in the “Living Room’ these were more personal accounts of lessons learned.  The more intimate format fostered connection and group discussion.

2015 HIP Carousel podium discussions and short presentations

There was also an Information Area where the IHK StarterCenter Rhein-Neckar, the DAI Heidelberg and the Amt für Chancengleichheit from Stadt Heidelberg were present to share their expertise.

2015 HIP Carousel IHK


Gloria Miller, a HIP member and founder of her own Management and IT consulting company, challenged everyone in the morning to up their professional networking, giving us some clear objectives to aim for throughout the event.  As she wrapped up, she demonstrated her own application of those guidelines and shared her takeaways from the day.

2015 HIP Carousel Claudia Miller


From the first cords of Chopin, played by our very own HIP member Barbara Janssens, to the warm applause as we closed the event at 16:30, the Grand Hall was filled with buzz, exchange, connection and people helping people.  HIP clearly achieved the goals we set for ourselves in building the HIP Carousel.

2015 HIP Carousel Barbara Janssens


We say again a big thank you to our partners, sponsors and volunteers without whom we could not have held this amazing event!

Please browse the photo gallery below. Should you want to order any of the photos or see the full gallery, please contact HIP Member Dorothée Piroëlle.