IAAP Convention Day 1-Changing the view

First off.. KUDOS to the host committee for the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) annual meeting.

First off.. I loved Reno.. or I should say loved landing at the airport in Reno, as the view/vista is phenomenal.

I headed off to the convention center around 3pm today and I was thrilled to see the signage throughout the convention site. Now I must admit, I wish that all the registrations/credentials were in one area..but I trust that the IAAP meetings manager certainly knows her job..and there are reasons for everything. I don’t need to know the reasons why.

Today’s main tasks were:

  • Get registered
  • Attend First-Timers Orientation

At the risk of sounding odd.. I was thrilled to meet a MALE IAAP member at the First-timers orientation. He was from North Carolina. Personally, I have this very twisted thought that (and pardon my fatigued logic) until we have more male representation in our profession;recognized IAAP office holders- our culture will continue to view the profession as women’s work. I do think it is sometimes looked down at that way. Gender representation in our profession also brings another perspective for looking at and resolving administrative issues.

This is a true story. I once had the opportunity to make the final recommendation for an administrative slot at the company I worked for about 8 years ago. The most qualified candidate was a male. He had served time in the armed forces in an administrative capacity. I am certain you (the reader) would not be surprised to know that both the President and VP of this company would not hire him because they assumed this candidate lived a certain lifestyle. He had to, of course… why else would he want to be an admin?

I kid you not….

I wonder how many folks within our own profession apply that assumption? It goes back to finding the best candidate for the job. In reality, hiring in corporate America can appear to be fairly abitrary and quirky. And, I think in that previous case, illegal…But my thinking goes like this.. (key here, being MY personal thoughts.)

In the USA, males hold the majority CEO and Board Chairman positions and I cannot see the profession gaining more respect until there are more men within it.
Of course, I suspect they’ll be promoted faster…and that is just real life. But imagine.. a workplace with a more equal balance of gender representation. Would the workplace be more task focused, less gossipy? fewer birthday functions, invitations to Pampered Chef events from peers? I really do wonder.

One last thought.. and a shout out.

Had dinner with a group of my peers, and the recent downfall of an Executive Assistant with Coca Cola came up in the topic of conversation. As many of you know, this person is charged with trying to sell corporate secrets to their main competitor. But all of us acknowledged the damage done to the hard work that as professionals we do each and every day… earning the trust of our bosses (or sometimes not). We all shook our heads, an unspoken collective ‘Damn it, girl.! Why’d you mess us up like that.” was the heavy undertow of wondering why an EA at that level would do such an act. We’ll never really know… but I bet there is more than one or two CEOs doing another due diligence on the assistant that supports them.

SHOUT OUT– to all those great Capital Chapter members that made the journey.. I believe 8 in all.. And, to all those folks that had the courage and belief in themselves to submit their application for the CPS/CAP exam…

More from tomorrow’s events.

Author: KMK Foley

Storyteller. Wicked sense of humor. Tenacious learner, Coffee Lover, especially Dunkin' Donuts.