Rebekah Mohr is the cybersecurity lead for Shell in the Americas. When we heard that, we thought, “Better not pigeonhole this as a ‘woman-in-tech’ story. We’ll find another angle.” Then we spoke with her, and she owned it. “I’ve branded myself that way,” she says. “I realized early on that I was paving a path for women in the technical industries, and I wanted to share the knowledge I was gaining with the next generation.”
Mohr was vocal about gender bias in the workplace from the start, and approached it as an opportunity for education. “I remember being in a team meeting with me and 60 men in the room,” she says. “The boss got a little excited and he swore, and then he said, ‘Oh, my apologies Rebekah.’ So, I jokingly said ‘I probably swear more than any of you. I started on a site and none of you have ever stepped foot on a site.’ Then after the meeting I pointed out to him that when he did that, he separated me out from the team. They looked at me differently.”
Mohr’s feminism came to her while growing up in Camrose. She remembers relating to Oprah. “She talked about how she grew up in a farming atmosphere and her grandma said to her, ‘You’ll be doing this one day,’ and she heard a voice in her head saying, ‘Nope, you’re meant for something bigger than this.’ I realized early on I had that same voice in my head. I wasn’t meant to get married and settle down and have kids.”
Once co-workers knew she was open to discussing gender bias in the workplace, they started approaching her. They wanted to know if they were acting in a biased manner. So she started writing on the topic in-house, and then more broadly, and then she started doing speaking gigs. Now, as she says, it’s a part of her brand.
Book Recommendation Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg