Once upon a time, PAs and EAs were simply thought of as secretaries. Responsible for answering the phone, typing up letters and making the coffee, PAs and EAs, though an integral part of the office, were not given much credit for their work.
Today however, times have changed dramatically. Though PAs and EAs still make the coffee – one of the most important jobs in any office – their roles have altered almost beyond recognition, with many now the most important employee in the office and an essential part of the workforce.
Ask any PA or EA who’s been in the business for a while, and they’ll tell you that people in their position have always gone above and beyond for the office. Having taken on a range of administrative roles as well as managerial responsibilities, PAs and EAS have long been the rock upon which the company is built.
What’s changed is that, in the last decade or so, PAs and EAs are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Executives are beginning to understand just how much PAs and EAs do, and how tough their lives would be without their right hand employees.
With 98% of PA and EA roles occupied by women, gender stereotypes related to the role are still going strong. Many people who don’t work in the industry still don?t understand exactly what PAs and EAs do and many assume they are simply secretaries.
Though of course there is an aspect of secretarial work involved with being a PA or EA, more and more PAs and EAs are now members of the senior managing team, their experience, knowledge and expertise is invaluable to the people running a business and to the business itself. Though this is slowly helping to erode stereotypes, there’s a long way to go before everyone understands just how vital this complex role really is.
The future of the PA and EA
With more and more executives and company bosses taking on PAs and EAs, the future of the role looks bright. How it will change in the future will vary considerably according to which industry and which company the EA or PA is employed by, with the role differing significantly between organisations.
If you’re a PA or EA, or you work in a team where they’re an integral part of the organisation, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the changing nature of the job. While you’re at it, why not take a look at our guide to making the life of the PA or EA easier and make your role as seamless as possible?