What Is Secretary’s Day?

What is Secretary’s Day and what is the meaning of its observance? Is it simply a commercial ploy designed by florists, restaurants, candy stores, and greeting card companies? Or is it an honest-to-goodness recognition of the often-unsung heroes of the workplace?

Not many calendar slots are dedicated to subordinates in the workplace. The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) organized the first Secretary’s Day in 1952 to honor office support staff.

Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association (now the IAAP) and C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation, served on a committee charged with addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers. Working with Harry Klemfuss of Young and Rubicam, they launched the idea of a secretaries week campaign.

Charles Sawyer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, proclaimed the first National Secretaries Week in 1952, during the first week of June. He designated the first Wednesday as National Secretaries Day. The National Secretaries Association changed the date of National Secretaries Week to the last full week of April in 1955. They designated Wednesday as National Secretaries Day. When the National Secretaries Association became the Professional Secretaries International (PSI) in 1981, they changed the name of the observance to Professional Secretaries Day. In 1998, PSI changed its name to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) to reflect the changing role of office staff. The year 2000 saw yet another name change: Administrative Professionals Week. The IAAP thought the expanding responsibilities of office staff warranted this name change.

Now called Administrative Professionals Day, Secretary’s Day is always the Wednesday of the last full week of April (Administrative Professionals Week). The event recognizes the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, and other office professionals for their contributions to the workplace. In the United States, it is customary for supervisors and superiors to take their administrative staff to lunch on this day. Other forms of recognition include flowers, greeting cards, candy, and gift baskets.


Calendar Updates: http://www.calendar-updates.com

International Association of Administrative Professionals: http://www.iaap-hq.org

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