Administrative Professionals Day
Also known as
Administrative Assistants' Day
the Wednesday of Administrative Professionals Week (1952)
the Wednesday of Administrative Professionals Week (1953 to 1954)
the Wednesday of Administrative Professionals Week (since 1955)
Administrative Professionals Day, also known as Secretaries' Day or Admin Day, recognizes the work of secretaries, receptionists, administrative assistants, and other administrative support professionals. Employers and supervisors organize events for these workers on the day, and workers are often given cards, flowers, chocolate, and lunches. In the United States, the day takes place during Administrative Professionals Week, which occurs during the last full week of April. The holiday is celebrated in work environments around the world.
After the United States entered World War II, there became a shortage of skilled administrative workers. This was because there had been a lowered birth rate during the Great Depression, and because of a new booming economy with many open jobs. In 1942, the National Secretaries Association was formed to recognize the contributions administrative personnel gave to the economy, to bring workers into the field, and to support their development. The National Secretaries Association changed its name to the Professional Secretaries International in 1981, and to the International Association of Administrative Professionals in 1998.
Administrative Professionals Day was originally known as National Secretaries' Day. It was created to further bring more people into the administrative professional field, in response to the shortage following World War II. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles W. Sawyer proclaimed National Secretaries Week in 1952. It was held from June 1-7 of that year, with Wednesday, June 4 being National Secretaries' Day. The National Secretaries Association, Dictaphone Corporation, and Young & Rubicam were the initial creators and sponsors of the holiday. In 1955, National Secretaries Week was moved to the last full week of April. It was then when Wednesday of that week became known as Administrative Professionals Day. The name was trademarked in 2000. To reflect the changing responsibilities and job titles of administrative support staff, the week's name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and to Administrative Professionals Week in 2000.
The holiday has not been without criticism. Some have seen it as patronizing to separate the work of administrative professionals from the rest of the office, which was the opposite intention of the day. It has also been hard to determine who is an administrative professional as the role has changed over the decades. People have also been critical of the consumerist nature of the day.
How to Observe Administrative Professionals Day
If you are an administrative professional, today is for you! Employers and supervisors may organize events for you, and give you gifts, cards, and food. If your superiors seem unaware that today is Administrative Professionals Day, you could gently let them know of the holiday and its history!