From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA – PA Life Club

From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA

762 548 PA Life Club
  • mattd
  • 0

What do you do if your boss acts like something out of Mad Men and won’t trust you with anything more responsible than a light spot of photocopying? You could fashion a voodoo doll, sob down the phone to your bestie, or even stalk him online, becoming one of those vicious Twitter trolls who wounds with a devastatingly nasty comment cunningly summed up in just 140 characters.

Alternatively, you could do something far more productive and get involved with IYOTSA – this funky little acronym stands for a big message: the International Year of the Secretary and Admin Assistant. 2014 has been designated as the year to recognise all those working as admin professionals by South African industry body PAFSA (the professional association for secretaries and administrative assistants).

Although the initiative originated in South Africa, it has a truly global vision and aims to make managers realise how vital PAs really are to the team and how they play such a pivotal role in its success. IYOTSA describes assistants as “the backbone of commerce” and its stated aim is to get industry to view assistants as strategic business partners rather than a mere support mechanism.

The IYOTSA secretariat is planning a series of global functions including webinars, gala dinners and other educational programmes, all designed to raise the profile in the workplace of today’s PA. If you want to get involved personally, then help spread the word by organising your own local event. You can contact the organisers of this year-long project by emailing, or via its Twitter feed @iyotsa2014 – there’s also a LinkedIn page of the same name.

Yes, there are a million things to do at work and everyone is struggling to achieve that fabled “work/life balance”, but IYOTSA is our chance to show our execs exactly how valuable our input is and how much of a contribution we make – there has simply never been a better time to stand up and be counted.