AUSTRALIA’S first female bomb technician Jodie Pearson believes the presence of strong female role models throughout her career moulded her leadership skills.
Senior Sergeant Pearson is the Gosnells Police officer-in-charge and has 29 years with the police force, 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 a Gosnells station, which was 43 per cent female.
“There’s always been women around in strong positions that have always mentored people and that really influenced me, so I try and be a mentor to other women as well,” she said.
“I always had really strong female role models. When I worked at 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 consider how to help 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,” she said.
While “relentless” in her pursuit of becoming a bomb technician, she 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,” she said.
“In the end, I think I might have worn them down a little bit, but they saw ‘you know what, it’s not the she’s female, there’s a benefit for us to train her in that role.’”
Her career has come full circle now she has 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.
“I always aligned police more so than any other, it resonated with me as long as I could remember. As soon as I hit Year 12 at Gosnells Senior High School, I applied to be a cadet.”