PAs on low wage despite new position of power

Today’s
personal assistants have become increasingly powerful, with influence over
business decisions and access to their boss’ confidential personal and
financial information, new research shows.

The
7th annual survey of PAs, by recruitment firm OfficeTeam, reveals that 63 per
cent are regularly asked for advice on business issues, while 36 per cent are
privy to their boss’ bank details.

The
research, based on responses from 923 administrative professionals, shows that
PAs – or executive assistants – are responsible for managing virtually every
aspect of their boss’ life.

Fifty
two per cent of the respondents believe they know their manager’s movements
better than the boss’s partner does, while 62 per cent claim they are confided
in about personal issues.

The
changing role has brought a higher amount of stress, the survey shows, with 22
per cent of respondents claiming too much work was the main cause of stress,
with 21 per cent citing the people they work with as the main cause.

Speaking
at the launch of the survey, Steve Carter, managing director of OfficeTeam UK
and Ireland, said: “This is the first time the PAs have said they are actually
playing a central role in running the company. There is an increasing
acceptance that it is a career and not just a job.”

However,
pay levels for PAs remain relatively low, the research shows, with the average
wage for an administrative professional at £22,000 a year.

By Daniel Thomas

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