In honour of International Women’s Day, we at Signature Living would like to celebrate an inspirational woman and positive role model for young aspirational women everywhere; Katie Kenwright.
To celebrate this special day we took some time to ask Katie some questions about what it means to her to be a strong woman in business and all about her journey to get where she is today.
How does Signature Living inspire and encourage women in business?
As a business Signature Living are very passionate about supporting women and providing an environment where women feel empowered to reach their full potential.
60% of our workforce is female and it’s very clear that you can progress and attain roles within our company, irrelevant of gender.
I encourage women to be unstoppable forces and make the future what they want it to be.
At Signature Living, we are changing the stereotypes of gender roles. Many of the jobs that are male dominated in other companies are filled equally with men and woman in my business. I think this is very inspirational and encouraging for women in Signature Living and in other businesses.
What has been your proudest moment since the start of Signature Living?
Over the years there have been a number of really proud moments for me. However, I think the one at the top of my list has got to be the opening of 30 James Street.
The odds were stacked against us in terms of time limit, the amount of work we had to do for the hotel to open and our passion for doing the grand building justice.
However, in April 2014, we successfully launched 30 James Street – Home of the Titanic, a Titanic-themed hotel in Liverpool. Each room commemorates a passenger or crew member aboard the famous ship, or celebrates a connection to the White Star Line company.
We also launched Liverpool’s first rooftop bar, the Carpathia Champagne Bar and Restaurant, as well as the amazing Morgan’s Vault and Spa, offering a variety of relaxing spa treatments and packages.
Starting out with just one apartment on Victoria Street, to finally opening the spectacular 30 James Street, I can’t help but be proud by that achievement.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in business?
Women can undermine other women and it’s just ridiculous, there are enough challenges in the day-to-day of running a business.
There’s no race to win that can’t be won with another woman by your side. That’s why I always champion other women in my business and beyond.
60% of Signature’s workforce is female, do you make a conscious effort to ensure the workforce is equal?
Our recruitment team do an amazing job of ensuring our workforce is kept equal.
We host a number of recruitment days and inductions that help us to make informed decisions about the right people for the job and it never comes down to gender.
Signature Living are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and our diversity is part of what makes the business such an exciting and forward-thinking workplace.
We’re always on the lookout for talented and exciting new people to join our teams and welcome applicants from all walks of life.
Furthermore, 50% of senior members of staff are female, do you feel this is inspiring to other women both inside and outside of the business?
I think it’s very important for young women to have strong female role models.
The fact that we have an even balance of senior male and female members of staff, ensures that younger members of the team have a realistic view of the opportunities they have.
The number of UK businesses with no women in senior management positions is at 41%, I find it very inspiring that my company is full of strong and hardworking women in a range of positions.
From head of housekeeping to managing directors, it’s not hard to find a role model within this company.
What advice would you offer to young women starting in business?
Pursue your passion and don’t get deterred if it is in a historically male-dominated field.
Make sure you have a strong team around you that supports one another.
Always help others, be curious and stay positive. Businesses are made up of people, so ultimately, it’s a social experience, and those tips are about being able to serve and work with people productively and remain in a constant open state of learning and evolution.
What Katie Kenwright Brings to a World of Women
Signature Living wouldn’t be the business empire that it is today without the passion and drive of Katie Kenwright. Learning the value of hard work from an early age, Katie studied for five years to gain a HR degree, all while balancing two jobs alongside her studies.
Prior to Signature Living, Katie was a senior leader at Matalan and Shop Direct. But in 2008, she decided that it was time to take a risk. Putting her experience and work ethic into practice, Katie embarked on an exciting new business venture with her husband, Lawrence Kenwright.
The last decade has seen Katie go from making beds at Signature Living’s very first apartment to building an empire of party accommodation, heritage hotels, bars, restaurants, co-working space and everything in between.
As proprietor of Signature Living, Katie’s key focuses are sales, operations and creative direction. Signature Living is a company that prides itself on thinking outside the box, and Katie believes stepping outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens.
Family is everything to Katie, and when she’s not working, she’s kept on her toes by the twins, Junior and Arabella. Alongside balancing her work and family life, Kate is a big supporter of Liverpool Football Club!
The ultimate working mother, Katie Kenwright shows us all that anything is possible, for anyone and with hard work and dedication, all your dreams in life can come true.
Happy International Womens Day to women everywhere.