Secretaries for empowerment

Despite their vital role in most companies, secretaries continue to be underestimated.

Participants in a workshop on secretarial services in the 21st century, which was held last March 30 at the National Hotel in Havana, highlighted the need to strengthen their work under the economic reform process that has been promoted by President Raúl Castro since 2008.

«Secretarial work is not being made visible,» said Sara Artiles, a consultant at a knowledge management company (GECYT).

«This job has traditionally been taken up by women, and the men who perform similar functions often get better paid,» she added.

Yadira Navarro, a secretary at an electricity company in the eastern province of Las Tunas, indicated that some of them have been further trained and have had their wages increased.

Laudelina Rodríguez, a secretary at the Center for Molecular Immunology in Havana, emphasized that the new technologies are facilitating their work.

«We also cover budgeting, document processing, public relations, etc.,» she noted.

A National Network of Executive Secretaries and Assistants was established in 2006 to promote training actions and disseminate useful information among its members. In fact, around 1,700 secretaries have been trained so far.

Workshop participants also discussed harassment at work and the need to devise effective mechanisms to cope with it.

Translated by Adolfo Fuentes

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