Secretaries Day also known as Administrative professionals Day or Admin Day is observed in several countries to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals.
The idea began with Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association, now called International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), and C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation. They served on a council addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers. The account executives at Young & Rubicam 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 as 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, gift cards, or time off. The IAAP suggests that employers support the holiday by providing training opportunities for their administrative staff through continuing education, self-study materials, or seminars.
The most common ways of recognizing your Administrative Professional(s) today are:
• Cards, often with shopping gift certificates
• Take them to lunch
• Assorted Gift Baskets