Back in August 2019, Bonnie Low Kramen had a conversation with compensation expert Jeremy Spake. Jeremy had delivered two major presentations at the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference in June 2019.
The conversation that she had with him was so mind-blowing that she decided it needed to be turned into an article and the information shared, so she approached us about publishing it.
It was originally due to be published in February but we all know what happened next.
We are finally publishing it in this issue as our Cover Story. It’s one of the most important stories that we have ever published and, combined with the skills matrix due to be published early next year by the World Administrators Alliance, could change the face of the profession – more details on that in November’s issue.
Our research back in April showed that 58% of you felt underutilised and 49% of you felt that your salary was less than it should be for the role that you do. Unsurprising when 61% of you are working more than a 40-hour week with no additional pay for the extra hours. 21% of you told us that career progression is non-existent within your companies with only 30% of you satisfied with the opportunities being offered to advance your careers. We also know that one of your most common complaints is that your job description bears no resemblance to the role that you actually do.
What we didn’t know was the inner workings of your HR departments. This article also highlights the failure of the US Department of Labor to recognise the role and how it has developed. The bottom line is that high level EAs are not being offered the money they deserve because historically there has been so little hard data available about the role, which is a relatively small subset of the larger “administrative professional” job family category.
Although it’s a US-based article it has implications for all of us. We need to ask the questions of our own HR departments.
We have campaigned for ten years to get you the recognition that you deserve. You are not ‘support’. You are an integral part of the business. And you need clarity on how to progress in your career and the remuneration that needs to be available for the role. In partnership with the world’s associations and some of the great leaders of our profession, we have made huge strides towards our end goal, but now for the first time, we have hard facts and research and a plan.
It’s exciting! 2021 may just be the year we crack it.