THE OFFICE: Rebel Secretaries

The 2,000,000 U.S. secretaries —nearly all women, many underutilized and underpaid—would seem to be ideal recruits for Women's Liberation. Yet few so far have joined the cause. Nevertheless, with new pages being turned almost everywhere else, some are being flipped over in shorthand notebooks too.

Last week, responding to complaints from employees, the U.S. State Department ordered its executives to stop treating secretaries as "char help," to show a little more diplomacy toward them and to encourage independent secretarial decision making. Officials warned especially against the "reliable-old-shoe syndrome," in which secretaries are...

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