IYOTSA and Beyond: 2016 campaign

In 2016 the global campaign is Global Understanding.

This campaign will be propagated on our Facebook page: IYOTSA and Beyond (we post information and inspiration daily!) as well as our media: CareerSuccess magazine and InTouch newsletter.

The theme song is: Reach out and touch by Diana Ross

The guiding prose is The  Desiderata

§ What does IYOTSA and beyond intend by this campaign aiming at cultivating Global Understanding in workplaces worldwide?

Global Understanding is the most beautiful and profound goal to adopt. They say “Charity begins at home”. Likewise global understanding.

But where we can make it have a big and immediate impact is at our places of work – because amongst our colleagues, our bosses, our stakeholders, our clients, our suppliers, our communities, are people of different cultures and belief systems; of different races and different lifestyles. Accepting the right of others to have their culture and religion and lifestyle is the most significant achievement of adulthood, and of goodwill for all mankind.

§ Why the 'Secretarial and Admin profession as a community' to live this 'Global Understanding' campaign and be the ambassadors for it?

For two obvious reasons:

Firstly, there are more secretaries and admins in the world than in any other profession, and we are found in just about every workplace! Therefore, we are the most powerful constituency to spread a message of goodwill.

Secondly, because we are the “face” and “voice” for many organisations (corporates; factories, small businesses, government) we can truly make a mark by being the first to live the “attitude” and “mindset” of global understanding.

§ How do we put it in practice as everyday living at work?

By arriving at work every day with an open mind and an open heart. Speaking to people in a way that values them – whether they are next to you or in another country. Showing that you are a Human Being Without Borders. 

Global Understanding means looking at people who speak differently, dress differently, follow different customs, pray to different entities, listen to different music, eat different food, with eyes that say:

 “You are a child of the Universe
no less than the trees and the stars
You have a right to be here”

If your eyes do that two magical things will happen: What comes out your mouth, will be humane; and your ears will be open to listening without judgement.

And even when they are not present enabling you to “look” at them, your mind’s eyes can do that.

Think of this: How do you feel when people of different cultures or lifestyles embrace you as an equal?

How do you feel when you can be yourself and free of any fear of discrimination? How do you feel when people show they value your opinion or insight?

You feel like a million dollars! You look at those who embrace you with a glowing heart.

Well, that is how ‘others’ will feel when you do the same to them.

ALSO consider this:

How many nationalities or language groups do you come into contact with daily? Do you use the same tone and warmth to every single one? Or do you show less patience and less friendliness to those who sound (or look) different?

 Tough one isn’t it! Sometimes we are not even aware of it – but we show more warmth to those who are like us! 
Today, we live in a world where many of the people we come into contact with in the street where we live, the shops we buy from, the sports club we belong to, are of a different nationality to ours! 
This is replicated at our organisations – we are the generation of a true global village. 

 Whether you are based in Paris or New York; Amsterdam or Auckland; London or Dubai; Beijing or Delhi, you are in a multi-national space. 
Your clients could be based anywhere! Live lifestyles that are completely foreign to you.

Reach out and make them feel valued – with every contact you have with them.

And the nicest bit is this: Learn to greet them in their language!
When you send them a mail, also greet them in their language when relevant; End off in their language when relevant; wish them happy birthday in their language etc. This shows you care but above all shows your respect.
Also find out when it’s their national days or religious days and send a special message. Just like Christians appreciate being wished a Merry Christmas so will other religions appreciate similar good wishes.

For more information email our head office: anamaria@pafsa.co.za


  In 2015 IYOTSA adopts the UN's International Year of Light as it's theme

The year 2014 will go down in the annals of history as the year a great tribute was paid to the secretarial profession.

A South African initiative, founded by PAFSA, the year was celebrated across the globe as many organisations and PAs/Admin Assistants rose to the occasion and ensured the profession was given the spotlight it deserved.

PAFSA continues committed to its international footprint – and friends worldwide – and as such has added the words and beyond to its IYOTSA brand. Please visit our Facebook page – IYOTSA – and will see the byline: IYOTSA and Beyond.

In 2015, IYOTSA has decided to align itself to the UN’s International Year of Light.


The International Year of Light lends itself beautifully to the notion of continuing with putting a ‘spotlight’ on the PA/admin professional role and career.

We believe that adopting and adapting this theme of “light” gives enormous scope for creativity!
Secretarial organisations can build on last year’s work easily by adding words associated with light to their workshops, conferences, celebratory events and newsletters. 

Words such as: sparkle, illuminate, shine, spotlight, radiate, brilliant, glow, beam, bright, ablaze, dazzle, brighten etc.

Famous quotes on the subject of Light:

We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own.  (Ben Sweetland)

We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light. (Evelyn Dunbar)

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.  (Aaron Rose)

“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)

“No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door: the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people's eyes, to reveal the marvels around.” (Paulo Coelho)

"Nothing can dim the light that shines from within." (Maya Angelou)

Light also denotes energy and giving direction!
E.g.  for energy: Vitality, vigour, life, liveliness, spirit, fire, passion, power, stamina, might,
enthusiasm, zest, vibrancy,  exuberance. 
E.g. for giving direction: Show the way; set the course; steer; clear the path; on the right track; follow the road; give a new direction; guidance.

A world without light is a world without life!

A profession without being in the light, is a profession unseen, unnoticed, unrecognised!
Out of sight is out of mind.

So let’s commit, together, to keep the secretarial/admin profession in the light!

At PAFSA’s annual Inter-Committee Convention (ICC) held in March the theme was:
“Give Light and people will find the way”. We have set our direction for PAFSA’s beyond  IYOTSA as one of giving light to the secretarial community.
Follow us on social media and on our website to see how this will roll out.


International Year of the Secretary & Administrative Assistant (IYOTSA)

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Date: IYOTSA is your year from January to December 2014

Venue: Events held all over the world throughout the year

News: Latest news on IYOTSA are posted on this website's home page, on Facebook and Twitter

§ Plan your year's events:

IYOTSA Year-planner with the monthly themes Jan - Apr May - Aug Sept - Dec
For the PA

For the Boss

For the Secretarial Associations worldwide who
have indicated their participation in IYOTSA

§ Follow IYOTSA 2014 on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter for regular updates

§ Q & A on IYOTSA: your FAQS here

§ General info on IYOTSA: Background here

§ Invitation to the IYOTSA Secretaries Day: Info & Booking Form here

§ Free Membership of PAFSA: Keep yourself informed here

caption: December 2013: Thus far the above countries have organisations that will participate in IYOTSA 2014

The year 2014 will be dedicated to to the Secretary and Administrative Assistant - to be known as
The International Year of the Secretary and Administrative Assistant: YOTSA 2014

The initiative was thought of in the year 2010 by Ana-Maria Valente of CareerSuccess magazine, when the first preparations were put in place. It was officially launched as an initiative in 2013 at
PAFSA’s annual meeting (on Saturday 2nd March 2013).

The catalyst for this was the observation by the Professional Association for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants (PAFSA) that in 1984 such an international celebration was organised by a US based secretarial body known as PSI (now IAAP) and that 2014 would mark its 30th anniversary.

PAFSA decided that the anniversary should be celebrated and contacted close to 100 secretarial associations worldwide to inform them that South Africa would like to organise an international celebration of the profession for 2014. A task team to head this initiative has been established and its members are Anel Martin, Charlotte Massey-Hicks and Audetta Skosana.

Says Anel, “It is an honour to be part of the task team taking on this project; we are very proud that PAFSA and South Africa are spear-heading this initiative internationally. We hope that this anniversary will strengthen the ties of friendship between South African office professionals and other associations around the world. Most importantly we are striving to raise the profile and visibility of the profession at home and abroad”.

Information on the progress of this initiative will be posted regularly on this website: Upcoming information will be on logo and events.

Message to all Presidents of secretarial associations and organisations worldwide here
The IYOTSA task team here
Organisations which have indicated willingness to participate here
Organisations that PAFSA has contacted and invited to celebrate International Year of the Secretary & Administrative Assistant

Message to all Presidents of secretarial associations and organisations worldwide

Back in 1984 – the IAAP, then known as PSI – declared that year the Year of the Secretary; and I would like to start a conversation with you all about declaring 2014 the Year of the Secretary & Administrative Assistant.

In 2014, it will be 30 years since then, and I would like to suggest a 30th anniversary of the first date by having the International Year of the Secretary & Administrative Assistant.

PAFSA, is an association based in South Africa, and we would like to invite and involve all organisations globally in celebrating this special anniversary.

PAFSA has established an International Year of the Secretary 2014 Task team - the members are:

Anel Martin: in South Africa’s PA of the Year 2011

Charlotte Massey-Hicks: Finalist in 2011

Audetta Skosana: Finalist 2011.

Our plan at the moment is:

1. Start or continue the conversation with you all on how we view “ happenings” for that year
Although there will be a menu of suggestions, each region has to be free to choose from the menu what they can or cannot do within the confines of the relevant nation, or logistics, or budget

2. Encourage each association/organisation’s board pass a resolution that it will participate in the year by means of own event’s. (Unlike what PSI did in 1984 we do not need a resolution introduced and enacted by our country’s government).

3. Propose an international theme for 2014 for all associations worldwide to be guided by

4. Encourage each association/organisation to align annual or seasonal customary events in 2014 ( national secretaries or office admin day, annual conventions, chapter meetings to the theme)

5. Between 2013 and 2014 keep one another informed through a central point or multilaterally

6. Encourage each association/organisation to use own magazines and newsletters to communicate when necessary to its members/communities

7. Engage the media at the end of 2013 and throughout 2014 when relevant

8. Together, worldwide, celebrate the year 2014 as the International Year for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

9. Report to one another on what happened at the end of 2013 as we prepare for 2014
Obviously as communications amongst ourselves develop, the picture will hopefully move from broad strokes to detail.

Meanwhile, please do let us know if we can count on your organisation to align itself to the international year initiative. It would truly make waves for the profession’s status and stature, if one message of professional empowerment was sent out to the marketplace all over the world that the time has come to show off a new vibrant profession.

Thirty years on from 1984 – when PSI held the first international year of the secretary – how things have changed!!!

Let’s get a worldview on these changes and consolidate a bank of information recording for history how this profession has been at the cutting edge of change, adaptation to new work-universes and surviving – even though in some cases with brand new titles and job descriptions.

IYOTSA task team

Anel Martin - profile

Charlotte Massey-Hicks - profile here

Audetta Skosana - profile here

supported by: Ana-Maria Valente - profile here

Organisations that PAFSA informed of this initiative.

Association of Administrative Assistants AAA
Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand Inc AAPNZ
Administrative Consultants Association ACA
Association of Celebrity Assistants ACA
Associacion de Secretarias del Uruguay ADESU
Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals AEAP
Australian Institute of Office Professionals AIOP
Association Liégeoise des Secrétaires et Assistant(e)s de Direction ALISAD
Asociacion Nacional de Secretarias/os Ejecutivas/os y Asistentes Empresariales ANSE
Associação de Profissionais de Secretariado de Cabo Verde/Association Professional Secretariat in Cape Verde APSCV
Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals in Asia Pacific ASA
American Society of Administrative Professionals
Associacao Portuguesa de Profissionais de Secretariado e Assessoria
Asociación del Secretariado Profesional de Madrid ASPM
Association of Secretaries of Mozambique ASSEMO
Barbados Association of Office Professionals BAOP
British Society of Medical Secretaries & Administrators BSMSA
Caribbean Association of Secretaries & Administrative Professionals CASAP
Cercle des Assistantes et Secrétaires CLASS
Distinguished Secretaries‘ Society of Pakistan DSSP
Executive Assistant Network EAN
European Management Assistants EUMA
Federação Nacional das Secretárias e Secretários FENASSEC
Federacão Interamericana de Associacõ de Secretarias FIAS
Federation Des Secretaires Professionnelles du Quebec FSPQ
The Global PA Network GPN
Hong Kong Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals HKASAP
International Association of Administrative Professionals IAAP
Institute of Administrative Management INSTAM
Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators IAgSA
Indian Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals IASAP
Institute of Legal Secretaries ILS
Institute of Professional Administrators IPA
The International Virtual Assistants Association IVAA
Jamaica Association of Secretaries & Administrative Professionals JASAP
Japan Office Professional Alliance JOPA
Legal Secretaries International Inc. LSI
Malaysian Association of Professional Secretaries & Administrators MAPSA
National Association for Legal Assistants NALA
NALS Resource Center 8159 NALS
National Association of Secretaries & Administrative Professionals NASAP
The Nigerian Institute of Professional Secretaries NIP Secretaries
Nederlandse Vereniging van Directiesecretaresses (NVD) NVD Secretaresse
PA Club PA Club
Philippine Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals Inc PASAP
Professional Secretaries‘ Welfare Association PSWA
Sindicato das Secretárias do Estado de São Paulo SINSESP
Sri Lanka Association of Administrative & Professional Secretaries SLAAPS
Sorted PA
Society of Virtual Assistants SVA
Turks & Caicos Association of Office Professionals TCAOP
Association of Secretaries UKAVA
Women Secretaries‘ Association of Thailand WSAT
Zveza klubov tajnic in poslovnih sekretarjev ZVEZA

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