Happy International Women’s Day, everybody! It’s good to celebrate our gender once in a while. In 2018, this day feels even more important with the kind of revelations on sexual harassment that have come out. Sexual harassment at workplace is a problem that persists all over the world and while names of Harvey Weinstein, James Franco and Charlie Rose have been made public, there are still many predators around, who believe that their authority gives them the power to constantly cross boundaries.
In the wake of these allegations, more than 300 women in Hollywood launched an anti-sexual harassment initiative called #TimesUp. This program addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that has kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. They partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access the legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.
You can read more about #TimesUp here –
The Time’s Up campaign was also a response to the #MeToo movement – a social media hashtag women and men used to express that they have been sexually assaulted/harassed in their lifetime. The sheer number of Tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts made #MeToo trend worldwide for days to come.
Bollywood also undoubtedly has its fair share of problematic people who are in positions of power, but getting actual names out in the open will definitely take decades to happen. Such horror stories make me, as a woman, realise how important it is to have the support of other women in my life. In the age of #MeToo and Time’s Up, it’s necessary to provide a platform for victims to come forward and name the people who are responsible. It’s necessary to be with women (and men) who will be there for you no matter what and I’m definitely lucky to have that in my family, in my friends and very importantly, at my workplace.
So I asked the lovely women and men from MMHQ to tell me and the world how much of a positive impact a comfortable and space workspace can have on individuals. Here are some amazing answers <3
All I can say is that I marvel every day at the tribe that we have banded into together over the years. I am proud of all the fantastic young minds who make up Team MissMalini. Every single person on the team has heart, passion, kindness, empathy and a great sense of humour! For me it was honestly never a conscious decision to hire more women than men, for us it’s always been about who has that fire in their belly and stars in their eyes. The kind of people you want to see every day because they’re sharp and hardworking and NICE. It is possible that the EQ (Emotional Quotient) is a notch higher at our HQ because of the number of girls that work here, but I am extremely proud to say that the boys in our band are undoubtedly the most wonderful gentlemen too. So if there is one thing I am most proud of in my journey to date it is this; at MissMalini Entertainment we have created amongst us a space that is inclusive in nature, positive in spirit and creative in thought. This is my family. It feels like home. – It just so happens to be a sparkly pink rocket ship but the ride has been epic! #tothemoon
The last 6 years of building MissMalini Entertainment has made it abundantly clear that empowering India’s women is this country’s fastest and most assured route to greater progress and prosperity. Like Malini, our ladies are bright, thoughtful, loyal and yes, they are fierce. I am equally proud of our men who prove that sensitivity and strength are not mutually exclusive traits and that centuries of deep-rooted discrimination and misogyny offer weak cover for those who continue to hide behind such perverse exclusions. This generation has no excuse, and if our office is anything to go by, they’re not looking for any either. That’s a pretty wonderful thing.
Prima Melissa D’souza
I’ve been at MM for only close to 3 months now, and frankly, out of the 6 jobs I’ve had, this is one of the best places to work! The best part about working here is that people are very welcoming and there is no discrimination. Our gender has never been a problem because, at times, people bring a different perspective and outlook. In case of difference of opinion, it’s not looked down upon, but instead, people come together and figure a solution.
Being a part of #MMGirlTribe is such a fond feeling. Many working girls can say they love their jobs but not many can call their office a second home. That’s what the office (and the people in it) are for me. The environment that we have created at this workplace gives me and each one of us a sense of belonging, a sense of pride and a deep sense of protectiveness for our own. We all have different personalities, colour, shapes, and sizes but we’re loved equally and that’s what makes each one of us a part of the coolest girl gang in the creative industry. They say behind every successful man there’s a woman and we at MissMalini have proved that behind every successful woman there are a bunch of other talented and driven women who believe in girl power!
Ever since I’ve joined Team MissMalini, everyone’s been so helpful and warm. Unlike other places, this team helps one another and as per my past experience, I’m really happy and glad to be a part of it. I’ve never seen a workplace with this kind of girl-bonding ever. Which is so refreshing to see.
Every time I think about working at MissMalini, I am struck by one distinct thing that is best described by this GIF –
While most people think it’s difficult to work in an (almost) all women team, I for one truly believe that it’s the kind of women who work together that matters. And in our case, we all recognize each other’s strengths and make sure to empower them further, whilst also lending a helping hand when it’s needed. This is only possible when women are proud of each other instead of being threatened by one another’s success.
If one cultivates kindness, you empower all, when Malini talks to the team, it’s evident she wants to spread love and happiness and confetti. It’s all about #girllove. But, I think as we move into the future where women take the wheel, let’s not also forget to make a safe space for men to grow, otherwise, how are we different from them and their old ways?
Before I joined MissMalini, the only true impression I had of the whole office and the general environment was whatever little I could see on social media. In all honesty, what I really thought of it was basically girls dancing, jumping, fooling around and all that jazz. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Are there any men working in the company?” Then it struck me, does it even matter? The people here are innovative, highly motivated and super ambitious. I get to hear everything – from sanitary to hygiene, from boyfriends to tinder dates and much more. I now have a completely different perspective on many things. I’m lucky to have the privilege of sitting around these beautiful women and understanding a little to almost everything a man can ever think of!
I’ve worked in corporate and many fields for a long time now but in all my years, I have never worked in an office like this. It’s open, people are friendly, the conversations range from intense to provocative and every day is a new day. Something I actually love over here is that there is a huge diversity of thoughts. Yet somehow, every thought is included. You can speak about what you want and no will try to shut you or your thoughts down. This horizontal working style, where there is no fixed hierarchy, actually brings out the best in everyone. Something that is also really cool is that I’m surrounded by strong, independent women that inspire me to be better every day. Having a sister who means more than the world to me actually gave me insights and a perspective that I probably wouldn’t have been so lucky to have.
It has been three days in this madhouse and I am already loving it. People here are full of enthusiasm. My first day, everyone treated me like a member of their own tribe, which really felt like home. Everywhere, all around me I just see girls chip-chapping, laughing and working with so much dedication to delivering the best out of them. I wish I would have had more to write as it has been just a few days down in the company.
It makes me beam with pride to think about our office culture. I don’t know a workplace that fosters love, acceptance & individuality like we do at the MM HQ. We are a bunch of hardworking strong-minded individuals who respect each other’s space and have also magically, learned to cherish the special something each one has to offer. I haven’t worked in an organisation that puts a smile on my face every single day, including Monday. I have not only grown myself as an individual & in my career, but seeing the same resonate with almost everybody in the company. =)
No matter how forward the world’s thinking gets, men will ALWAYS have the upper hand in society. And this is something that the MM team does not believe in at all. Every single girl has her own qualities that differentiate her. The best part about that is- your individual qualities and talents aren’t pushed down by your competition, but here, a collective force of unbelievably strong women will help you grow!
I don’t think you’ll find a workplace this cool ever! You realize it the minute you step into the zone that is MissMalini HQ. The first thing I noticed about the people here is that they are very open; open to new people, open to new ideas and open to welcome you in their #MMGirlTribe. It’s all about working together towards a goal, uplifting each other and growing together, with a major dose of fun. You feel like you belong here and that’s the feeling that just makes us fall in love with our job. Isn’t that the best thing?!
Working at MissMalini is a great experience for me. It is my first job in a digital firm and I was nervous when I joined here but the people were so warm! Over here, everyone’s point of view is valued which makes you feel important in whatever department you are working at. Many of my friends from the industry ask me why I’ve stayed put at the MM HQ for so long, to which my reply is and will always be –
“People here are good human beings, pure souls – which I never will find anywhere else.”
The work culture is so different from what I have experienced so far. The people here make you feel safe and secure, they understand your problems and will always stand by you.
It’s just been four months for me as a part of this “much talked about” Team MissMalini as perceived by the outsiders but I don’t feel like a newbie. Thanks to the people around, the day starts with good morning hugs here. Another thing I really appreciate here is that people are sincere and simultaneously they are cool. They take ownership of their work. Overall, we work hard and party harder. The pre-conceived notion that women can’t be happy together has been successfully busted here – 39 women out of a staff of 50. And the men, they are even more adorable! Lastly, despite being in the dynamic business of digital where everything changes every minute, MM gives us a happy, healthy and sustainable work culture.
I’ll keep this short because some people have the attention span of a fish. I am not physically present at the MM HQ, but not a single day goes by when I feel as if I am not there. The fact that I am a few thousand kilometres far has not affected my equation with my girls (yes, mine) some of whom I have NEVER met. (Hi, Divya & Prima) That’s what women do, they embrace you with all their love & warmth.
I quit my job since I was getting married but I always knew that if I was getting back, I had to be back to MissMalini. Working here is literally like working with a bunch of friends. We work, fight, lunch and some of us even live together. I truly believe that there is no better workspace than this. This place is home. Sometimes you want to run away from issues and problems but eventually, you want to come back. Cause there is no place like home!
Never have I been in a workspace where hugs are given so freely and there is criticism with equal levels of love and bitchy-ness (the good kind) as well. When I first walked into MissMalini I was extremely overwhelmed because of the preconceived notion I had of women in the fashion and beauty industry but everyone in my team (and my desk) has managed to change that definition for me in a very short amount of time. I love that my workspace doesn’t just push me to work harder but to also gives me enough and more #RealGirl role models to look up to every day; whether they’re brainstorming, writing a blog or just sharing lunch tiffins.
So here’s our message to women everywhere, love each other, empower each other and always remember this –