Ma­jor force for women

Cockburn Gazette - - STREETWATC­H -

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.

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