Secretaries’ Day takes place every Wednesday in the last week of April to honor the hard work of secretaries who have long been under-appreciated. This year, it takes place on April 26. This day has developed and had many names over the years, such as Admin Day, and it occurs on Administrative Professionals Week. It recognizes secretaries and all the hard work they perform. There are many ways to celebrate and honor your secretary, but the most important one is simply saying thank you. Secretary jobs are seen as less important though they are vital and help other people be able to accomplish their jobs.
History of Secretaries' Day
Clerical jobs are very important in ensuring that businesses function well and thrive. Secretaries play a very important role but are often not valued for their efforts. This job position has a long history, with the word ‘secretarius’ first being used in ancient Rome to refer to someone overseeing official and confidential business for powerful individuals.
Now, people are finally beginning to show some appreciation for the hard work of secretaries all over the world. While secretaries are now stereotyped as women, clerical jobs were reserved for men. This change started in the 1880s. Women began joining these roles as they required no education. Secretary jobs were the start of women joining the workforce. Clerical jobs became even more popular among women when men went off to fight in the war.
The hard efforts of secretaries were first recognized during World War II. The depression and low birth rate caused a shortage of administrative workers. This influenced the founding of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (then called the National Secretaries Association) in 1942. This non-profit organization aimed to attract more workers to this career path and shed light on its importance. In 1951, they administered the Certified Professional Secretary exam. They now offer many more related certifications.
The businessman Harry F. Klemfuss recognized how crucial secretaries are to businesses and created Secretary’s Day in 1952 to celebrate secretaries, who were then only women. He aimed to show how valuable secretaries are and to encourage more women to join this position. He created Secretaries’ Day and chose June 4, but it was moved to the Wednesday of the last week of April in 2000.
Nowadays, of course, secretaries can be of any gender. This holiday is now celebrated in many parts of the world, such as the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and many more. This holiday reminds us of the importance of showing our appreciation to these underrated professionals for creating a welcoming and successful workplace.
Secretaries' Day timeline
Women begin working in clerical jobs to fill in for men who went off to fight in the war.
A shortage of skilled administrative workers encourages the creation of the National Secretaries Association.
The National Secretaries Association administers the first Certified Professional Secretary exam.
Harry F. Klemfuss creates Secretary’s Day.
Secretaries' Day FAQs
What is a secretary?
A person employed to manage and prepare documents, organize files, and manage office inventory, as well as schedule appointments.
What skills should a secretary have?
Secretaries should have good verbal and written communication and good computer skills. They should be organized, detail-oriented, flexible, and good problem solvers.
What qualifications are required to become a secretary?
Secretary jobs required a high school diploma or GED as well as clerical experience.
Secretaries' Day Activities
Celebrate your secretaries
The best way to celebrate is to show your secretaries appreciation by giving them gifts, a nice card, and hosting a party. There’s nothing office workers love more than unexpected parties and cake.
Show them gratitude
Show your secretaries how much you appreciate their efforts by giving a speech among colleagues. Share some anecdotes about your secretaries and stories of how they’ve come to your rescue.
Share on social media
Write a post on social media to set a precedent. Show others how important it is to respect and honor everyone you work with.
5 Interesting Facts About Secretaries
‘Secretary’ comes from Latin
The word ‘secretary’ comes from the Latin word ‘secretarius,’ which is based on ‘secernere,’ meaning “to distinguish.”
Most secretaries are female
This previously male-dominated job continues to be mostly female — 94.2% of secretaries and administrative assistants are female.
Secretaries worked for royalty
In the past, secretaries worked at royal courts — they were trusted with very confidential information.
There are more than you think
There are 22 million secretaries in the U.S.
Some of your favorite characters are secretaries
The most notable secretaries are Andrea from “The Devil Wears Prada” and Pam from “The Office.”
Why We Love Secretaries' Day
It promotes equality
Everyone should be equally respected and appreciated for their efforts regardless of how important their work seems or how much they get paid. No one can get anything done on their own, and those who get less appreciation often deserve it the most.
It raises morale
Nothing raises your company’s morale like regularly showing your appreciation for the underdogs and emphasizing how needed every member is. The more respected someone feels, the harder they’ll work.
It helps de-stigmatize secretaries
Secretaries have always been looked down on both in real life and in the media. Appreciating all office workers will encourage more people to apply for the role.
Secretaries' Day dates