3 months ago by Ben Heathorn

Only 33% of PAs feel their jobs enable them to use their skills

Personal Assistant

We met with Rosemary Parr at Global PA Association this week and as part of our prep for the meeting we read her 2009 research paper titled "Secretarial Work, Skills & Careers" and we were wondering whether the same issues/challenges still exist for Personal Assitants almost 10 years on? What are your thoughts? 

  • The demise of the title Secretary and its replacement with Personal or Executive Assistant reflects the changing nature of much secretarial work. Where secretaries are performing high-level tasks, and areable to use their skills, then they are more satisfied with their work
  • Many secretaries have high-level qualifications but only one-third feel their jobs enable them to use their skills. This implies that many organisations are wasting the talent of their secretaries
  • The ongoing assumption that secretaries should perform personal tasks for their managers perpetuates the gender division of the role and sometimes verges on the unacceptable
  • Secretarial career paths within and outside secretarial work are truncated, which means that organisations are not capitalising on the transferable skills of their secretarial workforce
  • The poor management and low status of secretaries are a cause for concern as is the relatively high level of bullying and harassment experienced.