Queensland Women’s Week 2022: Bev Book

In celebration of  Queensland Women’s Week, meet Bev Book, PCYC Queensland General Manager of Outside Hours School Care.   

Leading PCYC Queensland’s Outside Hours School Care team, Bev is committed to empowering the women she works with and those whose children we care for in our OSHC services.  

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey at PCYC Queensland. 

I joined PCYC as the GM for Outside Hours School Care (OSHC) back in September 2021 and was very pleasantly surprised by the breadth of services offered by our organisation. I have since become more aware of the incredible impact we have with so many young women and girls through various programs and this is very motivating for me. The OSHC world is full of highly skilled women who make a difference every day, there are leaders who model self-awareness and independence and those who question norms and push boundaries. This will stand us in good stead as we continue to build services that support women into the workforce across Queensland by providing OSHC for their children. 

What is one of your proudest achievements during your time at PCYC Queensland (personally or professionally)?  

In 6 short months I’ve worked hard on building a culture of accountability where we work as smartly as possible during our regular office week and then by the end of the week feel confident and satisfied that we’ve done what we can, we’ve supported team members and achieved our own personal goals set. A good work life balance is achievable, and I feel like with developing new skills, modelling good practice and supporting others do their best work, we can all get the best of both worlds. It’s a work in progress!  

Who are some of your biggest female inspirations & why? 

Malala Yousafzai, for standing up to the Taliban on a daily basis and advocating for education for girls and women. The impact she has made will only ever be measurable through history books, but it’s a reminder to always have courage to stand up and speak on topics you feel strongly about.  

Jacinda Ardern, an inspirational leader who inspires me every day! Her quote on compassionate leadership resonates very strongly with me; “One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”  

Angela Merkel, the most humble global leader I know. Angela navigated significant change for her country with grace and diplomacy. Her commitment to people’s human dignity has seen her country provide for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. That takes a depth of character and commitment seldom seen.  

Why do you think it’s important that we recognise Queensland Women’s Week? 

Queensland Women’s Week is important because as a community who make up the majority of citizens in Australia, women still have a long road to tread towards equity across the full scope of our lives. The other reason why we should, is because we can! This is all part of the conversation which results in millions of small actions being taken. Every little bit counts.  

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 

There is only one way to eat an elephant … one bite at a time!  

What are one of your main goals for this year? 

I want to “keep making noise” where I feel like I can impact change. I want to challenge biases, empower girls in our OSHC services and educate boys on how enriched life can be with stronger women at the table. I want to help children build the future they want for themselves as equal partners.