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Why secretary is still the top job for women
January 31st, 2013
03:59 PM ET

Why secretary is still the top job for women

By Annalyn Kurtz  @CNNMoney

(CNN Money) - What's the most common job for American women?

The same as it was in the 1950s: secretary.

About 4 million workers in the United States fell under the category of "secretaries and administrative assistants" between 2006 and 2010, and 96% of them were women, according to the U.S. Census.

How secretary became women's work

The rise of the secretary began with the Industrial Revolution, which created an enormous amount of paperwork. In the early 20th century, it became a female job as companies realized they could pay women lower wages to do the work.

Secretarial schools offered professional training, which made it possible for many women to enter the career without a full college education.

It wasn't until 1950 that it became the most popular job among women. Back then, 1.7 million women worked in a category the Census defined as "stenographers, typists or secretaries."

While the title has evolved since then, it remains the top female job.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Economy • Gender • History • How we live • Women
January 31st, 2013
12:08 PM ET

The American secretary who became king: A woman's journey to royalty

By Isha Sesay and Teo Kermeliotis, CNN

(CNN) – When Peggielene Bartels went to bed on a summer night in 2008, she was an ordinary administrative assistant living in a modest one-bedroom condo just outside Washington D.C.

But a few hours later, when a persistent ringing phone woke her up in the dead of the August night, the 55-year-old found out she was much more than simply a secretary.

Read more: The Lady King of Otuam

At the other end of the line was Bartels's cousin, from Otuam, a small fishing village on the coast of Ghana. Excited and humble, he congratulated her on being the new king of Otuam.

"I said, 'listen, it's 4 o'clock in the morning in the U.S., I am very tired, let me sleep,'" remembers Bartels. "I thought he was trying to really play games with me."

But this was no time for games.

The previous king of Otuam, who was Bartels's uncle, had just died. The village elders, who remembered Bartels from the times she'd visited with her mother, had decided to anoint her as their new ruler.

FULL STORY
From prom to deportation
January 31st, 2013
08:32 AM ET

From prom to deportation

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

(CNN) – Even three years after the fact, Fredi Alcazar Dominguez still trembles thinking about his deportation.

[3:35] "They put you on a bus to the border and then at the border they just leave you at your own risk."

Alcazar Dominguez spent five days in Mexico before crossing the border illegally back into the United States. Then and now he has found himself in a kind of limbo.

The 23-year-old was brought to this country illegally by his parents when he was just eight years old. Deported just shy of his high school graduation, he doesn't qualify for the deferred action enacted by President Barack Obama last year.

Hear the full story on CNN's Soundwaves blog