'Mad Men' Effect May Mean More Secretaries

Apr 04, 2012, 15:00 ET from International Association of Administrative Professionals

'Secretaries' make a return after decades of decline, according to business survey

KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the 60th anniversary of Administrative Professionals Day approaches April 25, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) may have discovered a genuine example of life imitating art.

In its most recent survey of admins, IAAP noted a significant increase in the number of administrative professionals who have "secretary" in their job title. This shift marks a reversal of popularity for a job title that has been in decline for at least 20 years.

The increase in admins with "secretary" in their job titles is one of the business trends noted in IAAP's "Administrative Professional Skills Benchmarking Survey". Every two years, the association gathers data from its members about job titles, responsibilities, salaries, job satisfaction, technology and other issues. More than 3,300 admins participated in the survey. It provides a unique inside look at modern business.

Though the top two job titles for IAAP members were Executive Assistant (29 percent) and Administrative Assistant (25 percent), the third most common job title was Administrative Secretary (seven percent). That's the first time in several years that Administrative Secretary made it into the top three job titles. In fact, the number of admins with "secretary" in their titles nearly doubled in two years, going from eight percent to nearly 15 percent.

It's unclear why there are more secretaries, though it may be due to a "Mad Men Effect." The popular AMC series may stoke nostalgia for the classic image of the American corporate secretary.

Regardless of their titles, admins are professional and integral members of their office teams at every level of the modern international economy. In 2011, administrative professionals supported an increasing number of executives or managers. Approximately two-thirds report that their level of workplace autonomy and authority has increased in the last five years. About 80 percent say their overall contribution at work has also increased during the same period. Admins are the pulse of the office.

IAAP, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is the world's leading association for administrative professionals, with over 500 chapters and more than 22,000 members worldwide. IAAP sponsors Administrative Professionals Week®, held the last full week in April and Administrative Professionals Day® on Wednesday of APW. Further information about IAAP is available at www.iaap-hq.org.

SOURCE International Association of Administrative Professionals