The top job for women in 1950 was a secretary position. The top job for women today?
A secretary position.
Although the title of “secretary” has evolved into administrative staff and executive assistant roles, the duties and laborers have remained the same for more than 50 years. According to the U.S. Census, nearly 4 million workers in the United States had jobs categorized under “secretaries and administrative assistants” between 2006 and 2010.
96% of the people who possessed these jobs were women. This means women outnumber men 20 to 1 — even though they still take home smaller paychecks than their male counterparts. The average salary for full-time female administrative assistants was $34,304 in 2010. Men earned slightly more at $39,641.
Times have changed and allowed women to mobilize themselves socially through higher education and experience in underrepresented fields. However, Ray Weikal, a spokesman for the International Association of Administrative Professionals, says that the reason why the secretary position is still a prominent role for many businesses is interestingly enough because of the expansion of technology.
“Every time a major new technology showed up, there were always predictions that this would spell the end of secretaries,” Weikal told CNN Money. “You saw that with the development of electric typewriters, the personal computer, and the Internet, but every time technology gets more efficient, the amount of business increases. You continue to need people who can use those tools.”
Although the glass ceiling continues to crack across various industries, it still doesn’t seem like the rate of women being employed for secretarial positions will change anytime soon. The Labor Department predicts that administrative staff roles will continue to grow by 12% between 2010 and 2010, adding close to 493,000 jobs within the next ten years.