As part of FII’s new Meet the Team series, we are featuring former and current employees who have worked with or are working with us currently since the inception of FII. Feminism in India as a digital intersectional feminist media platform would not exist if not for these incredible individuals who have helped build this organisation to make it what it is today.
Today, we’re chatting with Nalini Menon, who is the HR Operations Executive at FII. She completed her Masters in Gender Studies and just knew that this is the line of work she sees herself in for the rest of her career. She enjoys reading and finding new music to listen to; her favourite season is winter so you’ll find her the happiest during these next few months. She also buys and collects too many books and has yet to get around to reading them.
FII: What do you like most about being a part of the FII family?
Nalini: I think what struck me most about FII when I started working here was the mutual respect and appreciation that the team gives to each other. For instance, if a video or post did well online, there would always be a lot of appreciation given to that team member during our team calls and it’s really nice to see everyone so involved and appreciative of each others work. I love being a part of a women-only team and even though we’ve been working remotely for a while now, I feel like we’ve all grown to know each other and get familiar. They’re a nice bunch of people!
FII: What advice would you give someone joining the organisation?
Nalini: I think I would tell them not to be scared to put forward your opinion. I feel, as a workplace, there is a sense of openness that is rarely found and you should take advantage of that.
FII: How would your colleagues describe you?
Nalini: I would really like to know this one, to be honest! I think they’d describe me as someone who is always available to talk to and also someone who has constant migraines. I would like to think that they take me seriously sometimes (since I work in HR) but I don’t think that’s the case, haha.
FII: Which fictional character do you identify with and why?
Nalini: Oh, so many! Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag, for sure. There were parts of the show that really resonated with me; there’s a really great line where she says, “I want someone to tell me what to wear every morning. I want someone to tell me what to eat. What to like, what to hate, what to rage about. What to listen to, what band to like. What to buy tickets for. What to joke about, what to not joke about. I want someone to tell me what to believe in. Who to vote for and who to love and how to tell them. I think I just want someone to tell me how to live my life because so far I think I’ve been getting it wrong.” Apart from that, I think I’d like to be someone like Alexis from Schitt’s Creek. Oh and someone once told me that I remind them of the character George from Feel Good, so I guess that too.
FII: What is something that you’re tired of hearing?
Nalini: I think what really irks me is when someone says “we don’t need feminism anymore” or when someone even uses the word “feminazi“. I’m also really tired of people asking me what my plan is for the future, I mean, I can barely see how my next month is going to be, how do I know what my future is going to look like?
FII: Which feminist movement do you feel particularly passionate about and why?
Nalini: A movement I am particularly passionate about is the movement for queer rights. I was a part of a queer collective during my Masters and being in that space has taught me so much about myself and of issues that I wasn’t very aware of. I can definitely say that those few years have made me who I am today. I am also passionate about student movements and activism and in complete awe of the student leaders currently fighting issues across the country. At the moment, I am constantly inspired by anti-caste struggles and anti-establishment movements by activists in India.
FII: What makes FII a ‘feminist’ organisation?
Nalini: The most immediate thing I can think of is the freedom to express your opinion and the emphasis on the importance of good mental health at the workplace. How you can say that you’re not having a good week or are feeling overwhelmed with work and that’s okay. Also, the fact that the team is made up of like-minded individuals and there is always a sense of respect for each other.
FII: What’s the most fun thing about your job?
Nalini: The most fun thing about my job is the review meetings I get to conduct every month. I’m sure the rest of the team isn’t too thrilled about these employee reviews, but they’re fun conversations for me, hahaha! I also really enjoy the interview process for job applications.
FII: Do you remember when and why you decided to work at a feminist organisation?
Nalini: I think I always knew that this was the space I would thrive in. I didn’t really have to make a decision, I just naturally found my place in this sector.
FII thanks Nalini Menon for her timely and valuable contribution to the organisation. We are incredibly grateful to have her as a part of our team and appreciate her for her deeply insightful work. She can be followed on Instagram and LinkedIn.