A secretary, or administrative assistant, is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication & organizational skills. These functions may be entirely carried out to assist one other employee or may be for the benefit of more than one. In other situations a secretary is an officer of a society or organization who deals with correspondence, admits new members and organizes official meetings and events.
A secretary has many administrative duties. Traditionally, these duties were mostly related to correspondence, such as the typing out of letters, maintaining files of paper documents, etc. The advent of word processing has significantly reduced the time that such duties require, with the result that many new tasks have come under the purview of the secretary. These might include managing budgets and doing bookkeeping, maintaining websites, and making travel arrangements. Secretaries might manage all the administrative details of running a high-level conference or arrange the catering for a typical lunch meeting. Often executives will ask their assistant to take the minutes at meetings and prepare meeting documents for review.
Famous quotes containing the word secretary:
“The truth is, the whole administration under Roosevelt was demoralized by the system of dealing directly with subordinates. It was obviated in the State Department and the War Department under [Secretary of State Elihu] Root and me [Taft was the Secretary of War], because we simply ignored the interference and went on as we chose.... The subordinates gained nothing by his assumption of authority, but it was not so in the other departments.”
—William Howard Taft (18571930)
“... the wife of an executive would be a better wife had she been a secretary first. As a secretary, you learn to adjust to the bosss moods. Many marriages would be happier if the wife would do that.”
—Anne Bogan, U.S. executive secretary. As quoted in Working, book 1, by Studs Terkel (1973)