The Secretary works closely with the President to make sure her WI runs smoothly. Find out what the role involves.
Along with the President, the Secretary shares responsibility for running her WI and overseeing Committee business.
How to appoint the Secretary
The Committee appoints the Secretary at its first meeting after the Annual Meeting.
Under the WI Constitution WIs ‘may combine the offices of Treasurer and Secretary or the offices of Treasurer and Vice President if the Federation Board of Trustees consents. No other office may be combined’.
What does the role involve?
A Secretary’s main responsibilities are to:
- ensure the smooth conduct of WI business
- organise and co-ordinate the work of Sub-Committees and working groups
- manage all correspondence with her WI – referring to the President as appropriate
- establish a good relationship with the Secretary and staff of her federation
- prepare the agenda for WI and Committee meetings with the President – including suggested timings for each part to make sure meetings run smoothly
- write a record for the WI meeting and the minutes for the Committee
Secretaries should keep a record of any decisions made during WI meetings – either in a special book or a loose leaf file (provided the pages are numbered sequentially and each page has been initialled by the President). Many WIs now keep a digital record, but a signed physical copy is still necessary. This should be available for members to view at each meeting or can be read out if preferred. If members decide to take the record ‘as read’ the President can sign it at the end of the meeting, by which time members will have had time to look at it.
Many WIs elect or appoint an Assistant Secretary to share the workload. This can involve acting as either a Minute Secretary or a Programme Secretary.