The times of the old Madame secretary are over. Today they are called team-assistants and have a lot more responsibilities and accomplishments to come up to. Which change can we see and what other tasks has an assistant to face?
As you can read in the Blogpost “the office – an erotic mine field”, women as secretaries were shown up in a disgraceful light. Not only were they seen as a eye candy and object of seduction but also as weak women who can only take down dictation and write on typewriter.
If you search “secretary” pictures on google there is still the same image. On the one hand, you find women in business clothes who sit at a table with a pencil in one hand and the telephone in the other hand. One the other hand the stereotype of a secretary as seductress still can be found too.
An article about the profession secretary tells another story. Woman do not at all type the whole day. They lead their own projects and have a general responsibility for their teammates.
Today there are high requirements desired as an experienced handling with Microsoft Office programs exactly as a perfect English in writing and speaking or at least another foreign language.
Furthermore, there are a lot of performances that are expected from a team assistant. The ability to work under pressure, interpersonal skills, strong nerves and organisational strength.
Katharina Mück, herself a long-time secretary director, wrote a book about secretaries where she argues, that women often do the job of their bosses and that team assistants often have the strength that is normally expected from managers (get the book at: https://www.amazon.de/Denn-sie-wissen-nicht-Sekret%C3%A4rinnen/dp/3423346973)
The new profession as team-assistant could be more called the “Boss-Manager”. It is often necessary to satisfy wishes from their bosses whereas the bosses always get the self-affirmation without any criticism. Secretaries must in addition to their normal work organise holidays, prepare conferences and often help in the private life too.
So, to manage the job of their boss and the office seems to be a hard job. Nevertheless, there are also possibilities to make own decisions and to design their own workplace.
Last but not least it is the unbelievable variety, what makes this profession very interesting und fulfilling for a lot of women and with the right communication from director to his assistant, there might be an existing symbiosis between man a woman at work.