Signature managing director Kris Mochrie had a chance encounter with the transgender former US Olympic gold medallist at the LGBT Awards in London last week. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool hotel developer and operator Signature Living is to introduce trans-awareness staff training after one of its executives met former US Olympic decathlete Caitlin Jenner.
Ms Jenner was born Bruce Jenner and was a celebrated college football player and Olympic gold medallist who later came out as transgender woman, changing her name to Caitlin.
She was at the LGBT Awards in London last week, an event that has Signature, operator of Liverpool’s 30 James Street and Shankly Hotels, as its main sponsor.
Kris Mochrie, the firm’s managing director, met Ms Jenner backstage and was “stunned” when she opened up for a personal chat.
He said: “Signature has long been a proud supporter of LGBT+ rights, and it’s important for companies to make sure they don’t isolate themselves from what’s going on in the outside world.
“We might be in the business of construction and development, but we have a welcoming atmosphere that actively encourages our LGBT+ workers to be themselves.
“After chatting with Caitlin and hearing about her experiences, it became clear that when it comes to LGBT+, the ‘T’ is often a voice that struggles to get recognition.
“Her departure from Planet Kardashian rocked the world, but it also exposed just how narrow-minded people can be.
“Caitlin has been mocked and humiliated in the press and on social media, but inside she’s courageous and stronger than ever. And outside she looks just fabulous.”
As a result of their chance encounter, Signature is developing a training programme for all staff.
Charities will be consulted on how to make the workplace more accommodating to trans individuals, and the results will be relayed to staff in training sessions on acceptance, and in continued briefs thereafter.