PAs are pivotal to the success of modern businesses, says former White House Director of Events

“I believe that PAs are pivotal – because without PAs a company would not be able to orchestrate a message, or conduct its business,” says Schwartz, former Special Assistant to the President, who will be joining thousands of the UK’s PAs, EAs and VAs at office* to celebrate the third annual National PA Day on 8th October at London’s Olympia.

“The most successful leaders delegate – and they delegate to professional PAs. Then they’re able to go about their day on-task, on-time and on-message. So at the end of the day they’ll be further ahead than they were before.”

Schwartz is a firm advocate of the powerful role and tangible impact that a PA can have on all aspects of any business – benefiting not just their boss and fellow employees “but the consumers of their [company’s] product or services as well”.

She believes that “good PAs benefit not just the boss, but the bottom line of the business”.

However this doesn’t always mean that PAs don’t get overlooked. Given that nearly three quarters of all respondents (72%) of last year’s 2nd annual National PA Survey said that they felt being a PA was undervalued as a professional career choice, Schwartz is keen to address (and redress) this perceived lack of recognition.

“If you do work for a boss that doesn’t recognise the power of a PA, then you might have to take a moment to outline to them everything that you actually do. They might not even realise how hard you’re working. Sometimes the cog that makes the wheel go round is overlooked – because you’re so good at your job that it looks seamless. It should never take the wheel falling off to change that. I think a great leader of a company, or a country, knows the value of their staff no matter their salary or title,” she says.

“I was really impressed when working for President Clinton that he always took the time to say ‘thank you’. He knew that if he was working 15 or 16 hours a day, we were too.”

Schwartz’s illustrious career was kicked started at the age of just 19, with a voluntary stint answering phones at the White House the day after Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Despite possessing no political connections, she became the youngest female Presidential Appointee in history and rose through the ranks as a Staff Assistant, the Midwest Press Secretary, the Director Of Television and ultimately the White House Director of Events.