Are We Still Stuck?

February 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

On February 2, 2013, the Huffington Post released an article about how the top job for women is secretary, which is what it was in 1950. For me I can look at the article a couple of different ways.

My initial reaction to the article was a bit of disbelief. Before I even read the article I had to take a second and think if I agreed with what the title stated. At first I couldn’t believe that being a secretary or an administrative assistant was the top job for when just like in the 1950s. Then I realized that it was very possible. My mother works as an administrative assistant and she’s been doing it for about twenty years.

As I read the article I got the opinion maybe we haven’t moved as far as we thought as women. If the main job we hold is secretary, then maybe we are somewhat stuck. The article seemed to make excuses about why women might hold these positions. In the 1950s it was understandable for women to be secretaries because not many women were getting a college education. However today we say it is because women are told that when entering the workforce the best place to start is as an administrative assistant or some other administrative position.

I’m sure we’ve all heard that saying “You’ve got to work your way to the top.” I personally am a firm believer of this. However is it because we’re women that we hear such things? The article states that no one tells young men to take on these positions, but does that mean that men don’t work their way up to the top? After reading that article I thought about what men may have to go through. Even though no one tells them to take on an administrative position, it doesn’t mean they don’t have to work their way up also. Mail room, anyone?

So on this note, I have to ask – Is it that the majority of us are stuck in the 1950s working the same meaningless job, or is it that women know how the world works? I like to think it is the latter. Women know that we have to work our way up the ladder. If women are getting promotions and raises doing what they are doing then we must be doing something right. Also if no one is telling young men how to start out, then there may be some heartbroken males out there when they find out they can’t go straight to the six figure salary and have to start at the bottom of the workforce.

Another opinion I had was that being an administrative assistant is a demanding job. It requires multiple skills and quite a bit of dedication. And to me when the job is done right, the secretary become an integral part of that work area, and when you lose a good one the effects will show all around the work area. Being an administrative assistant is something to be proud of especially if the job is done right.

Take my mom for an example. She is an administrative assistant in a hospital laboratory. Not only does she do her work, but she also helps the other departments in the laboratory. To me my mom goes above and beyond and there not that people who can do that.

Read the article and see what you think:


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You are currently reading Are We Still Stuck? at Georgia Tech Women's Resource Center.


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