We spend around a third of our life at work, so as you can imagine it must be difficult to feel like you don’t fit in with others. Vincenzo Ferrara, staff writer at PA Life, talks about why treating male and female assistants as equals is crucial.
I recently heard a story from a respected male PA – while he was attending an event, a female PA whom he had never met didn’t think the job of a PA should be for a male. It was really upsetting to think that someone couldn’t see him as an equal, and in this case, look down on him.
It’s still shocking to hear that only three per cent of UK PAs are male according to the EPAA, and over the past few weeks I’ve come across more and more cases of PAs discriminating against other PAs/EAs on gender, age and experience.
The assistant industry can be tough as it requires unprecedented amounts of attention, organisation and co-operation, meaning it really doesn’t need the added pressures of being judged for being in a job, as everyone started as a beginner at some point.
2018 is a year closer to job equality, a year closer to the end of pay gaps and career advancement opportunities depending on gender, meaning we should be striving to celebrate each other and learn from one another.
A lot of you reading this are part of a PA network, who share advice, giving you a chance to speak to others about overcoming professional obstacles and help you do your best when you’re down, making it even more important to try and respect one another.
Being a PA can feel lonely at times; it requires hours of focus, can make a work/life balance near impossible and requires you to be on the peak of your game nearly all day long.
When we hear someone else is a PA, let’s speak to them about their job, see what we can learn from each other and in turn advise them, so that everyone progresses.
Let’s not discriminate against them, but instead see how their minds might make them work differently, because by understanding how others work, we can often benefit ourselves.