Ivana Tendean, a product and marketing manager at luggage firm Samsonite, made derogatory comments about Chinese people in leaked texts from 2018
A marketing manager at a global luggage company referred to a Chinese job applicant as a ‘chink’ and ‘that annoying China girl’, leaked Whatsapp messages show.
Ivana Tendean, the current product and marketing manager at the Australian arm of luggage giant Samsonite, also tweeted about ‘holding my nose’ around Indian people, according to leaked Whatsapp messages and online posts.
Ms Tendean was scheduled to go on maternity leave at the end of 2018.
A maternity leave cover for her position in the Australian branch of the company – which has its head office in Mulgrave, Victoria – opened up in December 2018.
A Chinese woman applied and secured an interview with Ms Tendean – who was the then marketing and graphics coordinator as well as the hiring manager – and another colleague in HR.
The applicant had asked for her Samsonite interview to be pushed forward, as she had another job prospect lined up, which frustrated Ms Tendean who didn’t want to meet with her.
She then fired off angry texts about the situation to another person, where she repeatedly criticised the applicant using racial terms.
‘The chinks r dangerous to hire,’ Ms Tendean said in one leaked message dated from December 2018.
‘They’re very ”aggressive”. The females anyways.’
In one text she said the ‘chinks r dangerous to hire’ when discussing a Chinese job applicant (a digital mock-up of the messages, seen by Daily Mail Australia, is above)
Ms Tendean also said the job applicant was ‘FOB’ – a derogatory phrase meaning fresh off the boat
Ms Tendean complained about the applicant before and after the job interview, the messages and tweets show
Ms Tendean is of Chinese heritage herself.
The messages continued back and forth with the other person in the conversation guessing Ms Tendean would likely not hire her.
‘Nope. She’s so demanding. I don’t like it,’ she responded.
In another text, she sent on a note about the applicant’s interest in the role which had been written by another co-worker with the caption ‘look at the note from (colleague) on this annoying China girl’.
‘I’m so annoyed I have to meet this Chinese girl,’ she said.
‘She is so FOB (fresh off the boat). She reminds me of myself but fobby version. Worried about her English. She defs got the skill but her English FML. Hit and misses my questions a bit.’
In another message Ms Tendean said she thought the applicant was a strong candidate but said she was ‘very smart and manipulative tho’.
The conversation was from December, 2018 after Ms Tendean had interviewed the prospective job hunter
Ms Tendean said she was ‘obviously hired’ by another company because she is Chinese
‘She seems so determined though, just like any Chinese,’ she continued.
‘I’m a bit weary (sic) of her manipulation.’
In another text, Ms Tendean said the applicant was a ‘very smart girl’, but said the company needed to be wary of her.
‘But you gotta be careful w Chinese girls like that,’ she said.
‘Just like that Beijing b***h living with papa’.
In now-deleted tweets from 2012, Ms Tendean also made shocking comments about those of Indian heritage.
‘When I see a bunch of Indians come near me, I go into an autopilot mode to hold my breath and touch my nose in the process,’ she said in a tweet dated from May 2012.
In another tweet she made more comments about those with Chinese backgrounds.
‘Here is to all the China FOB ladies out there; you guys are rude gold digging w****s with a skin made out of concrete! #china #noshame’.
In more texts Ms Tendean is seen saying the applicant was ‘manipulative’ and ‘demanding’
Daily Mail Australia contacted Ms Tendean for comment but did not receive a response by deadline. Her LinkedIn page was subsequently deleted.
Samsonite is now investigating the matter.
‘Samsonite is committed to fostering a positive, respectful and inclusive workplace environment and does not tolerate racism or hatred of any kind,’ a company spokesperson said.
‘The Company takes all allegations regarding potential violations of its policies very seriously and is investigating this matter.’
Samsonite is one of the world’s largest travel companies and was founded in 1910 in the American city of Denver, offering luggage and travel accessories for hundreds of dollars, with some even costing upwards of $1,000.
Samsonite’s products are made in Europe, India, Vietnam and China.
In now-deleted tweets from 2012, Ms Tendean also made shocking comments about those of Indian heritage
In another tweet she made more comments about those with Chinese backgrounds