Major force for women
JODIE Pearson, Australia’s first female bomb technician, says the presence of strong female role models throughout her career moulded her leadership skills.
Senior Sergeant Pearson is the Gosnells Police officer-incharge and has been with the force for 29 years, including more than 15 years in the Tactical Response Group (TRG).
As WA Police celebrates 100 Years of Women in Policing, she said she had served alongside several strong females who inspired her to be a mentor and was proud to be part of Gosnells station which was 43 per cent female.
“There's always been women around in strong positions who have always mentored people and that really influenced me, so I try and be a mentor to other women as well.
“I always had really strong female role models. When I worked at the Fingerprint Bureau, there was a fingerprint expert who was female; I worked at a recruiting branch that was predominantly female, I worked in Fremantle Detectives and I had a really awesome role model there.
“I never had a problem with using my profile as a female bomb technician in the media because I wanted to show people coming up there is nothing you can’t do.”
Sgt Pearson said it was “absolutely important” to not only celebrate the trailblazing female officers, but also to consider how to guide the rising ones.
“All those people who have come before us have made their mark and have made things better for us, so it’s really important to acknowledge that work and then rise to the challenge to make it better for the next generation.”
While she was “relentless” in her pursuit of becoming a bomb technician, and said it was all about being able to do the job to the best of her ability.
“I continued to meet all the expectations and I kept pestering the bosses and kept highlighting the benefits for me to be trained.
“In the end, I think I might have worn them down a little bit, but they saw 'you know what, it's not that she's female, there's a benefit for us to train her in that role.’”
Her career has come full circle as she has now returned to Gosnells, where she grew up and first realised she wanted to join the police force.
“I remember playing board games with my family and I was more concerned that the rules were being abided by and adjudicated on those kinds of things,” she said.
“It resonated with me for as long as I could remember. As soon as I hit Year 12 at Gosnells Senior High School, I applied to be a cadet.”
Senior Sergeant Jodie Pearson, Australia’s first female bomb technician says it’s crucial to be a role model for women.