What is Secretary’s Day? Why is it sometimes called Administrative Professionals Week? Is it the same holiday? Here are some facts from Wikipedia to help answer some questions.
The idea began with Mary Barrett, president of the National
Secretaries Association, now called IAAP (International Association of
Administrative Professionals), and C. King Woodbridge, president of
Dictaphone Corporation. They served on a council addressing a national
shortage of skilled office workers. Together with Victor Toldoya, public
relations account executive at Young & Rubicam, they originated the
idea for a National Secretaries Week.
The official period of celebration was first proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer
as “National Secretaries Week,” which was held June 1–7 in 1952, with
Wednesday, June 4, 1952 designated National Secretaries Day. The first
Secretaries Day was sponsored by the National Secretaries Association with the support of corporate groups.
In 1955, the observance date of National Secretaries Week was moved
to the last full week of April. The name was changed to Professional
Secretaries Week in 1981, and became Administrative Professionals Week
in 2000 to encompass the expanding responsibilities and wide-ranging job
titles of administrative support staff. IAAP created National
Secretaries Week (now Administrative Professionals Week) with two
objectives in mind: to recognize “the secretary, upon whose skills,
loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices
depend,” and to call attention “through favorable publicity, to the
tremendous potential of the secretarial career.”
Over the years, Administrative Professionals Week has become one of
the largest workplace observances. The event is celebrated worldwide through community events, social gatherings, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts. In the United States, the day is often celebrated by giving one’s assistant gifts such as flowers, candy, trinkets, lunch
at a restaurant, or time off.