Celebrating Yemeni secretaries [Archives:2007/1046/Reportage]

April 30 2007

Fatima Al-Ajel
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For the second time, Yemeni firms organized a celebration for secretaries due to a strong belief in the important efforts secretaries do in their work.

In cooperation with several companies, the Sana'a Trade Center arranged a special celebration for the second annual Secretaries Day on Thursday, April 26. Nearly 30 secretaries and firms participated in the celebration. Secretarial work once was the realm of women; however, today finds several men working in these positions.

Secretarial work is a worldwide career, as nearly every office has a secretary, or some may be called “receptionists.” Secretaries Day is set aside to thank and appreciate all the hard work that secretaries do for their employers.

Most people consider secretarial work as a female career. Relatively few men become secretaries and only in specific conditions. Although there are both male and female secretaries in many Yemeni companies, only women participated in the Secretaries Day celebration.

Commenting on this, Alina Abdullah, one of the celebration's organizers, said many male secretaries were invited to participate in the celebration, as well as the previous one; however, they refused to share in such occasion. “Next year, we hope male secretaries will agree to participate in the day because it's a career for both men and women,” she mentioned.

Most bosses prefer employing female secretaries because they believe women are more active and organized in their job and that they perform all of the job's responsibilities patiently, as opposed to male secretaries. Because the word secretary is associated more with women, this article will use female pronouns throughout the remainder.

Actually, a secretary is considered a mirror of a company, as she reflects its appearance in every aspect. Nowadays, many office specialists identify secretarial work as an administrative assistant because he or she often steps in for the boss during his absence.

Keys for a successful and qualified secretary

A secretary must possess several characteristics in order to be successful at her job. At the celebration, Abdulkhaliq Hojairah, a specialist and lecturer from Al-Najah magazine, reviewed several keys that make a successful secretary, focusing on those skills that help an executive secretary to rehabilitate and improve herself in her field.

The word secretary is derived from the word secret; thus, maintaining confidentiality is the main quality a secretary must possess, after which everything else easily can be trained. A tactful and active secretary increases a company's customer base and reflects a good reputation about the company.

On their job applications, many firms request a secretary know at least two languages and be experienced in using modern technical communication tools, such as a computer.

Participant Adnan Al-Sadah presented nearly 30 tips on secretarial telephone skills, noting, “Every secretary must know how to deal with the phone because it's the most important communication tool used on the job, both now and in the past.”

Administrative Professionals Day, formerly known as Secretaries Day, is observed worldwide on the third or fourth Wednesday in April. Harry F. Klemfuss of the Philadelphia marketing firm Young & Rubicam created Administrative Professionals Week and National Secretary's Day in 1952 in recognition of such position's importance and value to a firm and to encourage more women to become secretaries.