Having been marked for well over a century, this movement was kickstarted in 1908 when women took to the streets of New York to fight for shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. Such activism from there on has created a worldwide campaign which has been recognised ever since, focussing on a variety of topics including violence against women, female history makers and inequality in the workplace.
This year’s #breakthebias campaign theme seeks to promote a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Historically, women have faced great difficulty in reaching positions of power in the workplace, and here at Apex, we agree that it’s time that this comes to an end! What better way to celebrate than to get to know the women in our Executive team and Board of Directors a little better...
ANGELA VICKERS – CEO
With plentiful experience in the hotel industry, working for the likes of Stakis Hotel and flagship brand Hilton Hotels, Angela is the driving force of behind our operational and strategic direction decision making. Graduating from university with an accounting degree and achieving her Chartered Accountant qualification shortly after, Angela’s clear commitment and drive to succeed at whatever she is doing has been apparent right from the word go. Gaining 9 years’ of invaluable hotel experience before making the decision to move industries, joining telecoms company, Damovo, as their Finance Director, Angela is a women who enjoys a challenge and is not afraid to take risks, which is exactly what we needed here at Apex! In terms of what inspires her in her home and work life, here’s what she had to say,
"I believe that you can find inspiration almost anywhere you look for it. From simple acts of kindness where ordinary people do extraordinary things to people who dedicate their lives to making a difference. A fitting example of this is good customer service, which I’m proud to say I see a lot of at Apex Hotels. Whether it’s adorning bedrooms in rose petals for guests staying to celebrate a special occasion, to a talented staff member who stepped in as a make-up artist when a bride was let down, I find myself inspired by our staff who continually go the extra mile to give our guests the ultimate experience. Lastly, something that I have missed over the last couple of years is the inspiration driven by overseas travel and exploring new places. Having said this, the restrictions of lockdown have taught us to look closer to home and find appreciation in what we previously took for granted, becoming a tourist in our own towns and cities – often the best things in life are right in front of us!”
AVERIL WILSON – MANAGING DIRECTOR
Averil has committed over a decade of service to Apex Hotels, joining as our Finance Director back in 2011. Trained as a Chartered Accountant and having lived all over the world for work throughout her life, moving from KPMG Glasgow to Auckland, and then to London, Averil has always been destined for the Travel Industry! During her time as Associate Director at KPMG London, Averil specialised in Hotels, Leisure and Media Entertainment where she gained extensive knowledge of the hotel sector, which has made her a great asset to the company over the years. We asked Averil to reflect on who her inspiration was growing up, and to give some insight into her experiences, she said,
“For me, International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that that has been achieved in moving towards gender equality in the workplace and across society as a whole. A celebration of the progress that has been made in many areas, but also to recognise that full gender equality is still out of reach for some in this country and overseas.
I grew up at a time when it was still the norm for women not to work and to devote their lives to their husbands and their children. My mother gave up work when she married, a full two years before I came along, didn’t drive and would have considered any form of DIY to be ‘a man’s job’.
I’m inspired by the young women now who are capably driving their careers and positively managing their work-life balance. Women who show no inhibitions, speak with a confident voice and are clear about their position and what they bring to the table. And inspired by their confidence to say ‘no’ when they need to prioritise life outside of work.
My son and daughter have equal expectations of what life might offer them and full confidence that their hard work and commitment will bring them what they want to achieve. I think that’s amazing.”
CAROL NICKLIN, FINANCE DIRECTOR
Carol was appointed as our Finance Director in 2020 and if moving jobs in the middle of a global pandemic isn’t testament enough to what women can achieve, we don’t know what is! With over 20 years’ experience in industry, Carol is a Chartered Accountant and has worked for finance giants Deloitte, UBS, and Lloyds Banking Group amongst other multinational companies throughout her working life. Passionate about what she does, Carol has a wealth of experience in Commercial Banking, Finance Business Partnering and Finance Transformation Projects, all of which have supported her throughout her time at Apex so far. We asked Carol a little about her experience in the working world, and what inspires her today, here’s what she had to say,
“I am heavily inspired by the other women I work with and the women I’m surrounded by in my day-to-day life. Having come from the banking industry where I found myself largely surrounded, and managed, by men, Apex Hotels has been a breath of fresh air. Working with Angela and Averil who hold down their positions so well drives me forward in my own role. We share many of the same values, challenges and ambitions as females in senior positions, and having like-minded women around me is what really helps me to thrive on a business and personal level.”
KERRY DRAPER, HR DIRECTOR
Kerry joined us as our HR Director just last month. With experience in senior HR leadership and consulting roles across the board, and gaining her CIPD qualification in 2010, Kerry is a people person, literally, and we knew she’d fit in perfectly with our family! From starting out her HR career at Warwick University in 2003, she went onto work in many market-leading companies across diverse industries including Carlsberg, British Gas and most recently, Virgin Management where she was responsible for cultural enhancement and people experience, championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (how fitting)! She’s passionate about hearing the lived experiences of people in the workplace and creating an environment where everyone can be themselves and feel a strong sense of belonging. Here’s what Kerry’s had to say,
“Given that my passion lies in creating fair working environments that are diverse and inclusive, I have a great appreciation for the notable representation of women in the senior and executive teams here at Apex Hotels. It’s a positive reminder as to how far society has come and is inspirational for women across the company. I believe that this ongoing recognition of the value of women and what we can bring to the table is what will help to #endthebias and is a step towards achieving the goal of equality and justice for women! Aside from this, for me, personally, I’m moved by the small acts of kindness by women that I see or experience on a day-to-day basis – women are truly inspiring.”
They say teamwork makes the dream work, and we’re so proud to have so many strong and inspirational women in our Executive Team. They’re truly sending the message that women can achieve all that men can, and we’re sure you will agree they’re remarkable!