Mari-Leena Talvitie is the new chair of TEK's board

News article

The council of Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK has elected Master of Science in Technology and Member of Parliament Mari-Leena Talvitie as the new chair of TEK's board by 44 votes.

The new chair of TEK's board is M.Sc. and Member of Parliament Mari-Leena Talvitie (National Coalition Party) from Oulu. The new council elected the chair of the board in its organising meeting held in Helsinki on the 4th of September.

Talvitie's rivals in the election were Juho Salmi from Helsinki and Mika Uusi-Pietilä from Tampere.

On the first round of voting, the votes were distributed so that Mari-Leena Talvitie received 34 votes, Juho Salmi received 26 votes and Mika Uusi-Pietilä wound up with 17 votes.

On the second round Talvitie garnered 44 votes while Salmi received 33.

– My heart began to beat in the tune of TEK almost 20 years ago and once a teekkari always a teekkari. I will do my best to develop the relationship between humans, technology and society, Talvitie said in her short thank you speech. 

Before the election, TEK magazine asked all three candidates the same three questions via email. The purpose of these questions was to find out what the candidates thought about TEK as it is now and what it could be in the future.

The candidates also made their case about why they were seeking to become the chair and why they should be chosen. Here are the responses of the newly elected chair.

What would you change in TEK's operations if you were to be elected as the chair, Mari-Leena Talvitie?

– My goal would be a visible, impressive and attractive TEK. I would raise TEK's thought leadership profile in educational policy and within the trade union world. More outwardly aimed conversations. I would work to make TEK's decision-making culture open, encouraging and interactive. I would support communality and commitment from both the office and elected officials so that everyone is oriented towards achieving our shared goals. To ensure that we are able to offer individual services to our members, especially our young members, we must understand the needs of our experts with regard to professional and family life, for example.

I would also highlight sustainable solution models for the social and ecological challenges people face. These can include good leadership practices, mental health services or matters related to the care of children or elderly parents. The worry hotline HuoliLinja is one good opening gambit into that direction.

What would you keep the same in TEK's operations as the chair of the board?

– TEK is a community and trade union of experts. Each expert is equally important, whether they are at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of their careers. Most of TEK's structures, such as the council and committees, are how they should be. It is important to inspire both regular members and elected officials and offer shared platforms for discussion and the utilisation of expertise and organise events for networking.

The role of the board is to focus on the big picture, with eyes on the future. Of course, the board must also be agile enough so that it can react to changes in the operating environment. I would steer the operations so that the council agreement that we have agreed on together is realised.

TEK has made some very good reforms and highlighted the need for changes to family leave, for example. This is the kind of work I would gladly support and continue!

Why are you seeking the position of chair of the board? Why should you be chosen?

– I am candidate for the position of chair because I am interested in the future of TEK and of Finland. I feel that as an M.Sc. of environmental engineering, a second term Member of Parliament and a third term TEK official from Oulu I have a lot to offer to TEK and to the efforts to reform working life for the better. I am ready to put my persona and my expertise on the line. In me, TEK would find a chair with wide-ranging expertise and leadership experience as well as versatile networks and connections to the top of the nation. I have the will, the skills and the heart to develop TEK as a community of experts. I am a bold and open builder of the future, a responsible and sensible politician and a cooperative team player.