The WiGFi board responsibilities and practicalities

What is the board?

During the term 2020-2021, the board of We in Games Finland has had the president, eight board members and two deputy board members. The board can have two to eight members, and up to eight deputy members. The members are elected at the annual meeting. The term for the board members is two years, and for deputy members one year. Board members can also resign after one year, in which case a new member can be elected to their place in the annual meeting. The board is the entity that handles the association’s affairs. 

What do the board members do?

The president leads the board meetings, looks after the board, volunteers and the organisation as a whole, and in 2020-2021 the president has also actively participated in activities and discussions promoting diversity and inclusion in the game industry and society. The board needs to have a vice-president, secretary and a treasurer. The secretary handles all the practicalities regarding meetings: preparing the agenda together with the board, sending meeting invitations for board members, writes the meeting minutes and handles any space or equipment needed for having the meetings. The treasurer takes care of the financials of the organisation, paying bills when needed and manages the organisation’s bank account. For 2021-2022 Essi and Anna will continue in these roles. The vice president has been in charge of membership issues, internal communications, and has also been participating in discussions with our partners as well as running projects. The vice-president takes the responsibilities of the president, when the president is unavailable. 

In general, board members can quite freely choose what topics they focus on. As WiGFi has organised a lot of events before the pandemic, an events coordinator is a position we wish to have in the board every year. Other than that, any role can be suggested for the board. In 2020-2021 we have had two board members focusing on event processes and organising, one board member leading external communications, social media and diversity work, and two other board members who have been focusing on different projects and collaborations like the speaker list, UNICEF, LGIN etc. The two deputy members have been helping the board members with certain matters and they have also organised some things based on their interests. 

What are the responsibilities of board members? What about deputy board members? What does this mean in practice?

The board members and deputy board members are invited to attend the board meetings approximately every month. At least half of the board members need to be present in the meeting so that a quorum is present, i.e. the decisions made in the meeting are valid. If there are not enough board members, deputy board members can be invited to act in the place of the absent board members to reach quorum. Attending the meetings is very important as the decisions about the organisation’s affairs are done only in board meetings. The meetings last usually one to two hours, and the attendees are expected to read about the matters on the agenda beforehand. 

In addition to the meetings the board members work in smaller groups, or by themselves, to advance the topics they are responsible for. This workload varies a lot monthly based on the projects and responsibilities, but the board and the president are actively looking out for each other so no one has too many responsibilities on their plate.

The board members, deputy board members and volunteers communicate on Slack, so following and taking part in those discussions on a regular basis is highly recommended for all board members. 

Keeping track of your tasks, attending meetings and collaborating are the three most important things a board member needs to do. The association has to follow its rules and the association law, but you do not need to be familiar with these beforehand, the more experienced board members will help in any matters regarding the official business. The board works on topics the association members feel are important, and follows the members’ opinion in their decision making. All the work that the board members do is voluntary, so everyone, with even the smallest ideas to take forward, is warmly invited to join the board. No work done is too small and every little step takes the organisation forward!

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