The secretary to the assistant: evolution of a profession
In the early 80s, American specialists were predicting the end of some positions, including secretary, convinced that it would be replaced by the arrival of new technologies (Internet, office software and databases management tools) easily used by managers themselves. But the business has survived: the secretaries are about a million, at least 98% women. A survey conducted in April 2000 among 400 secretaries assistants reveals the impact of new technologies on the profession. The secretaries are also satisfied in most time savings enabled by these new tools because they have adapted to these changes, thanks to the elevation of their level of training. According to a study by CEREQ the secretaries who started working in 1998, over half of them had at least a bac + 2.
The traditional representation of the secretary, assistant to a single frame, loaded mostly shorthand and typing tasks, is no longer relevant; the striking work of secretaries, assistants has increased from 62% to 20% of their time. Thanks to computers that enables productivity gains, they can attend several frameworks and working to create document templates, management dashboards and monitoring of client files; they are also a filter and a relay in managing communications by email or phone the manager. Their position interface between service and promotes their role outside of coordination and organization within the team. The operator, simple performing, has given way to a new generation of secretaries-workers, better equipped and more "interactive".
As to the appearance of new tools, the secretary was awarded the assistant functions: its missions have grown in interest and responsibility, it must demonstrate adaptability, his field of knowledge the company has expanded, it must be able to learn about a product, the services offered new skills are therefore needed, especially in the field of information and communications technology. Therefore, to improve the image of the secretary, the terminology has changed, it is called assistant (e) but in practice is also used well or Assistant Secretary (e) for the same profile .