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    PAs in the news

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    First up inside this edition’s overview of management assistants hitting the headlines is the PA who worked for premier league CEO Richard Scudamore. Former law student Rani Abraham has told UK media sources that she felt “humiliated and disgusted” by the messages exchanged between Scudamore and his associates. The emails allegedly made derogatory comments about women, including allusions to “female irrationality”. Rani, who has 14 years’ experience of working as a personal assistant, told Indian business daily the Business Standard that she could not just forget about the correspondence, as she had been brought up in a family where women were treated with respect and believes that Scudamore should be held accountable for his actions.

    The Daily Mirror has also queried the reasons behind the departure of Rani’s predecessor, Paola Nyderek, who apparently quit just a fortnight after taking on the role at the footballing body’s headquarters in central London.

    Meanwhile, over at another Great British institution, retailer Marks & Spencer, 42-year-old Charmaine Wakelin, claims she was “harassed and victimised” after having contracted HIV. The disease was said to be the result of her having been raped by a colleague at a party thrown by the firm, when Charmaine was working as a PA at the company’s head office near Paddington.

    At an employment tribunal, the former assistant claimed that a new manager who took over her department in 2010 “leaked information about her HIV diagnosis to a colleague.” The tribunal found in Charmaine’s favour on three of her 16 allegations.

    Then we have the case of the office manager who wanted to live like a TV star – and turned to crime to make her dream a reality. Louise Hitchen has been jailed for fraud at Liverpool Crown Court after stealing almost £100,000 from her employers to spend on breast enhancement surgery, a sports car and massive shopping sprees. The 27-year-old was apparently emulating the high-spending lifestyle seen on The Only Way is Essex.

    Lastly, some positive news for the PA community: Warrington-based company Pink Spaghetti, which offers services such as admin support, social media marketing and filing, has been shortlisted for a national franchising award, reports online business news platform Bdaily.

    The EWIF awards are dedicated to encouraging women to set up franchises across all industry sectors. Pink Spaghetti was established in 2009 by friends Vicky Matthews and Caroline Gowing and now operates in six locations around the UK.

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    Molly Dyson

    Former Editor – PA Life

    All stories by: Molly Dyson