Along with those movements, workplaces started to rename the job "administrative assistant" or "office professional," to reflect the shifting perception of secretaries. The National Secretaries Association eventually changed its name to the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
"Increasingly women in the 1970s were demanding the opportunity to be treated as equals," Weikal said. "All of a sudden you have fewer secretaries and more executive assistants."
Even, after all that progress, the title "secretary" made a slight comeback in 2011, the first year in decades it had grown, according to an IAAP survey. The organization attributes it to the popularity of the show Mad Men and nostalgia for the 1960s.
"It's really hard to watch but it actually makes us think about how far we have come. Now you couldn't get away with half of the stuff men do in the show, and women fought really hard to change that," Cameron said. "It's a pretty hard time period to be nostalgic for, though."
Fighting for equal pay
9to5's main mission has since expanded to focus on women in low-wage jobs in general. The organization pushes for fair pay measures, paid sick days and maternity leave.
Across all industries and occupations, full-time female workers earned 78 cents to every dollar a man earned in 2010.
In the category of administrative assistants, women outnumber men more than 20 to 1, but still earn less than their male counterparts -- about 87 cents to the dollar.
Full-time female secretaries and administrative assistants earned an average salary of $34,304 in 2010.
For men, it was $39,641.
"The good news is over the past 40 years, there are very few jobs in which women have not broken through," Cameron said. "The glass ceiling is cracking in all different directions, but the bad news is, there is still a sticky floor. Most women still work in traditionally female jobs, like administrative support."