BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A secretary had been defined by the National secretary International Association as executive assistance who posses a mastery of skill, who demonstrate the ability to assume responsibility without direct supervision, who exercises initiative and judgment and who makes decision within the scope of assigned authority.
Stenographers and Secretaries are office workers whose jobs primarily require stenographic skills; namely proficiency in taking dictation with shorthand and transcribing it on the typewriter. There are more (3,000,000 persons employed as secretaries representing one out of every six clerical workers.
More than 98% of secretaries and stenographers are women (New Age Encyclopedia vol. 13). The secretarial profession came to Nigeria as a whole with the coming of the white men (Colonial Masters).
When the white men came to Africa, they needed to communicate with the blacks hence they searched for and made interpreters. These interpreters are indigenes of the various areas they visited. This enables both parties to communicate with each other. Through this, clerks were created by the white men and these clerks were later made secretaries when offices were set up but with little responsibilities.
Formally the work these secretaries where quite few but as time went on and with Nigerian independence in particular, Nigerians took over the post from the white men who dominate the profession.
The word secretary has a lot to do with secrecy. The secretary must be able to keep official secrets without reserve. The secretarial course and profession is now regarded as a course/career for women or female gender while the men go into other profession.
In time, more females are left in the profession than males. As a result, about 98% of employed secretaries and stenographers are females (New Age Encyclopedia vol. 13 page 359, office worker).
Unfortunately, the role of the secretary is quiet understood by most people especially in Nigeria. It is therefore follows that most of the problems confronting the secretarial profession arose as a result of misconception by people. They do not seem to understand what secretarial profession entails.
Consequently, the female secretaries in this profession are always faced with numerous problems. These problems range from their honor and domestic responsibilities to their jobs, their colleagues, social suspicions, sexual harassment from male bosses, job stress, office politics, lack of recognition in the society due to gender problems, initiation by the male counterparts as they seem to team up with the male bosses against the woman.
However, the married female secretaries are expected to exhibit a sense of responsibility, show a sign of maturity, royalty and reliability in the performance of her duty.
The problems the female secretaries does not end there, some married female secretaries have miscarriage of their unborn babies due to stress in their job. We all know the nature of secretaries work is such that can keep one busy for 24 hours, so at times some secretary/mothers with new infant will be busy working up and down in the office by frequent visit to the boss office distraction by phone calls and other official workers and before you know it, the forming baby will start threatening to go out, and if the good lord is not on their side they might loose the baby. According to Asogwu (1993) about 40% of miscarriages are as a result of stress.
In the same vain, a secretary is required to have administrative ability to keep an office running smoothly insight to assign priorities and judgment to know when to issue orders on behalf of her boss. She conserves the boos time by screening telephone calls, visitors and mail.
Moreson, a secretary is one who has undergone some training in secretarial courses and has acquired good speeds in powerful, a source of both strength and vulnerability for both parties. Secretaries may either save or destroy their bosses.
Consequently,. A word processing assistant is portrayed as the extension of her boss, loyal, trustworthy and devoted. She is expected to love, honour and obey, relieving her boss of the routine and the trial,., creating the conditions for his detachment form the mundane rituals of every day life. She is the gatekeeper protecting her boss from those who would waste his time or want to know his private business, mediating his relation with the outside world.
In the same vain, a secretary is a kind of partner with employer. It is her duty to save the boss a great deal of detailed and as much routine work. You can think for him and anticipate his needs, learn his preferences and obey them even if you do not always right. She should be on the conservative side of dressing simple and neat. The secretary is the center of attraction all the time in the office for both the employer and the callers. She always saves the management and creates the pre-conditions for their boss advancement. Most of the pressure of the job is the sense of being close to the center of power, participating in decision making, having confidential knowledge, and having power to act behalf of the boss.
When a person has successfully undergone training as a word processor, or secretary, she is then vested with some responsibilities like copying typed words, Production of official documents like letters, new reports he/she also clears and maintains the word processor as well as the general orderliness of the office
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