Common Misconceptions About Admins #4: They’re All Women

misconception all women

Historically, the perception of administrative professionals is that they are women. However, times are changing and more men are assuming administrative roles.

As administrative responsibilities have become more complex and varied, it’s become an attractive career path for both women and men. While there continue to be more women working as administrative professionals, a growing number of men are joining the field.

We asked some male admins to share their experiences working in this profession. Here’s what they had to say:

“I’ve been working in the administrative world for over 25 years, serving among various ranks of executives and celebrities. Throughout those decades, I’ve observed a swift evolution in the role and responsibilities of the executive assistant. Within the span of one generation, my peers and I have gone from office workers whose professional aspirations were settled in archaic, stereotypical functions of an office worker to being irreplaceable success partners to modern-day corporate leadership."
- John S., executive assistant to the CEO, global nonprofit

“I don’t see my role as being gender specific. The important qualities that you need to be a successful executive assistant can be carried out by anyone, regardless of their sex. For me, I love how involved the role is and how me and the director I work for are a team, doing all we can to do the best job possible.”
- Craig H., executive assistant to the director, national nonprofit

“I have been a personal assistant (PA) for three and a half years, and during this time I am happy to have met many assistants, including other male PAs, from around the world. From my conversations, I know that both male and female assistants wish to be appreciated for how good they are at their roles. Regardless of gender, assistants can benefit the whole industry by encouraging more men and women to choose administration as a career.”
- Matthew W., personal assistant to the CEO, publishing company

“I have been asked directly about being a ‘secretary’; I’m in this job because I am passionate about the mission/purpose of my organization, and want to contribute to our success. My VP often consults with me on strategic issues, and I have a high-level view of the department and organization from my position. Further, I have a job that I love, one that I enjoy coming to every day, and one that I find very rewarding.”
- William R., Jr., executive assistant, university

“I never intended to become an administrative professional, in reality. But I always wanted to be a manager of sorts, and found that when you work as an executive assistant, especially at the top level, you are in command and in control. So, while you aren't called 'manager,' you do have the autonomy to control workflow, what the boss does and whom he sees, etc., and I found this very empowering. I was always given total freedom by the bosses I worked for to do whatever I felt appropriate.”
- Adam F., executive assistant consultant and trainer, and former administrative professional (20 years)

“As for the issue of gender, I never really thought about that. A lot of the people I know, male and female, got their start with the state as an office technician. So, I viewed it as a way to get my foot in the door. I’m glad I did. It has been more interesting than I thought. As a support staff member for the discipline analysts in my unit, it’s my responsibility to collect information (police reports, court records, etc.) and assign cases to expert witnesses.”
- Richard W., office technician, state government

“What I have enjoyed about the administrative profession is the variety of responsibilities. Realizing that I am in the minority within this profession, I have always strived to prove myself. I suppose the feeling that I was working in a field largely populated by women drove me to do whatever I could to make myself stand out; not just as a man, but as a valuable contributor to my organization.”
- Barrett S., senior administrative specialist, defense industry company

“I have always worked in an office environment, mostly in the human resources and administration departments, and have served on many committees and assisted in organizing various functions. Not one day is the same and every day brings new challenges. I see myself as the right-hand man and the shoulder to lean on to enable my boss to focus on building and expanding the business to the benefit of all employees.”
- Corrie F., executive personal assistant to the managing director, healthcare company

For more information about trends shaping the administrative profession, check out our Office of the Future page.

If you’re a male admin, what do you enjoy most about this type of work? Share your experience with others below.

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