Nadia Lim has hit back at rich-lister Simon Henry's comments about her ethnicity saying it highlights the vile stigma many women of colour face in business.
Last month, Henry, founder and CEO of a chemicals company, criticised My Food Bag for including a photo of Lim in their prospectus, claiming her "Eurasian fluff" was the reason for the company's underperforming results since entering the market.
"I can tell you, and you can quote me," he said.
"When you've got Nadia Lim, when you've got a little bit of Eurasian fluff in the middle of your prospectus with a blouse unbuttoned showing some cleavage, and that's what it takes to sell your scrip, then you know you're in trouble."
Henry suggested Lim uses her "sensuality" to sell her products.
Today, Lim responded to Henry's controversial claims and comments, telling AM that while she can handle the backlash, she is concerned it may impact other Asian women in the business industry.
"I'm a tough cookie. I have had enough years and support to become resilient and confident.
"My big issue with it is, it saddens me how other people and women and women of colour and ethnic backgrounds might see themselves in those comments and how they would feel hurt," she said.
Lim said the damaging element is that comments Henry made can be repeated so often that people start to believe it's true and "believe they are less capable and have less to give and contribute than their peers".
"That's why comments like this are so damaging."
Lim said while she can cop it, it's other people she feels "really sad and disappointed for".
Lim confirmed that Henry had not contacted her to apologise.
My Food Bag co-founder and brand ambassador Nadia Lim as featured in the company's IPO product disclosure statement. Photo / My Food Bag
The picture Henry referred to shows Lim wearing a camisole and not an unbuttoned blouse.
It shows Lim smiling and talking to friends as she turns a chicken on the barbeque.
Despite no apology from Henry, Lim issued a stern message for the businessman saying he needs to be educated.
"First off I would say, 'Go get some unconscious bias training' but also if I met him I would say, 'Hey Simon, come on in we are going to make you a cup of tea, sit down, have a korero' and very quickly I would show him that I am not just 'a little bit of Eurasian fluff'."
She went on to say she wants Henry to "open his mind" and "see the potential" that comes in all shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds.
This is not Henry's first controversial comments regarding women in business.
The NBR published an article in May 2021 about Henry's alleged incessant communication with a female intern, who had asked him to stop. He subsequently called her "unwell" and a "nutter", when called out on it publicly.