COVID has been challenging time for businesses right across the UK and it has been felt through every sector.
It is not just business though – but whole professions are seeing their way of working changing, organisations looking to run more leanly and trying to prepare for the future when things get going again in a more meaningful way.
EPAA is no different! We launched a free virtual conference right at the start of lockdown, which saw 8,000 registrations from professionals from right across the globe.
Our team saw bereavements and challenging times personally, as COVID’s affect continued and this had a tremendous impact on everyone here at HQ.
I took this time to then look at the association and decided it was time for us to do what so many other businesses were doing, which was to pivot. It was time to reset, reboot and change the vision.
When EPAA launched back in 2016, it was already a challenging time for the profession and there were numerous job losses back then for EAs and PAs. Much of this was down to the perception of how employers and society at large saw us as a ‘profession’.
It was clear that the gap between employers and our understanding of what could be delivered by Executive and Business Support Professionals was widening by the day.
In the UK, the profession in times gone by was always called the ‘Secretarial profession’. It was something employers understood, and they knew what level of skills they would be getting if someone had attended secretarial college.
In recent years, we have merged into a blur of admin and this has undercut some of the vast skill sets that can be delivered by Executive & Business Support Professionals and the real value-add and ROI that is available for employers to utilise – if they understand it better.
Therefore, this UK association will not be utilising the term ‘Administrative Professionals to describe the profession in this country. We applaud and respect all countries around the world who use this term to describe their profession, however in the UK there is a clear line of admin vs real specialist support.
It is EPAA’s role to ensure this is effectively communicated in the next 12 months and beyond and to improve employer confidence on the roles within our profession.
Indeed, in the UK ‘administration’ is a fantastic gateway to pretty much most professions and most apprentices on Administration apprenticeships do not become EAs either!
We absolutely understand that admin work will always be a bedrock of our roles, but it is not the whole package – far from it…
We warmly welcome Administrative Assistants and those in junior admin roles, who wish to move into Business and Executive Support. We shall be there with you every step of the way on this career journey!
We also welcome those wishing to make the move to our profession from other UK professions, with transferable skills. We shall also be there for you too.
We have also taken this time to also move away from more feminine undertones the profession represents – and our new logo reflects gender neutrality, whilst presenting a more modern and innovative approach. We hope to see the gender split decreasing too over time.
Our thanks go to The Virtual Studio, for all their backbreaking work on the ‘new brand’ and to a group of our members who we consulted with on every step of this project.
We look forward to the future for UK professionals with gusto.
We cannot wait to see more of you in 2021!