Today is Administrative Professionals Day. (Did I just hear a few “Oh crap!” gasps out there and a mad rush to the local florist’s?)
Until 2000, this day was known as Secretary’s Day, but according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals, which sponsors the day (I always thought it was Hallmark), the name was changed “to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of today’s administrative workforce.”
That makes sense. But it makes me wonder if there are certain connotations associated with the word secretary that tarnishes the image of that occupational title.
What do you think of when you hear the term secretary? Does it conjure up images of the typing pool on Mad Men (shown above)? Or the “girl Friday” of old black-and-white movies who would fetch coffee for her male boss? Or the sexually harassed-turned-vengeful women of 9 to 5? And should titles like “secretary of state” or “secretary general” be changed to reflect their expanding responsibilities? Should Robert Gates’ title be administrative professional of defense?
Does “secretary” need a public relations makeover, or is it too late?
Whatever the case, be sure to let your administrative professionals — whatever their title — know that they are appreciated. Not just today, but always.