How did Administrative Professionals Day aka Secretaries Day get started?
During World War II as American men went off to war, women stepped up to take positions in the workforce. The U.S. government needed secretaries and other workers to help in the war effort. As a result of this need, the National Secretaries Association (now the International Association of Administrative Professionals) was formed in May 1942. In addition to filling regular jobs, many Association members also served in the military or volunteered in the war effort.
In June 1952, the first National Secretaries Week and National Secretaries Day were proclaimed by then U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer. The two objectives were to recognize “the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend,” and to publicize “the tremendous potential of the secretarial career.”
The organization’s name was changed to Professional Secretaries International in 1981 and then to the International Association of Administrative Professionals in 1998. The names of the organization and the celebration have changed to reflect changes in the workplace. Beginning in 2000, the nation has celebrated Administrative Professionals Week during the last week of April and Administrative Professionals Day on Wednesday of that week. This year, the Association encourages a celebration of all office professionals for their hard work and for pulling together through down-sizing and economic challenges.
Questions you may be asking…
- Where is the International Association of Administrative Professionals, aka Professional Secretaries International, aka National Secretaries Association? The IAAP is headquartered right here in Kansas City, Missouri and always has been.
- Where did the word “secretary” come from anyway? Secretary comes from the Latin word secretum meaning secret. A secretarius was someone entrusted with secrets, a notary, or confidant. The concept of writing letters and performing other clerical duties emerged in English in the 15th century.
- How big is Administrative Professionals Week? BIG. Over the years, it has become one of the largest workplace observances.
Happy Administrative Professionals Week!