Skip to main content

'Secretary' Still Top Job for Women, Since 1950

While women have come a long way since 1950, one thing has not changed: the top job for women is still being a secretary.

Of the four million people working in the category of "secretaries and administrative assistants" between 2006 and 2010, a staggering 96 percent of them were women, according to the U.S. Census, reports

In the early 1900s, following the Industrial Revolution, being a secretary became a female job as businesses realized they could pay women less to do the work than men.

By 1950, being a secretary was the most popular job among women. Back then, 1.7 million women worked as "stenographers, typists or secretaries."

"Every time a major new technology showed up, there were always predictions that this would spell the end of secretaries," said Ray Weikal, spokesman for the International Association of Administrative Professionals. "You saw that with the development of electric typewriters, the personal computer, and the internet, but every time technology gets more efficient, the amount of business increases. You continue to need people who can use those tools."

Administrative assistant may still be the top job for women in 2020. The Labor Department projects the job will add nearly 493,000 jobs during this decade.

To add insult to injury, women outnumber men more than 20 to 1 as administrative assistants, but still earn less than men, about 87 cents to the dollar.



Popular Video