How Colin Powell became a four-star general. Best practices indiversity management

Colin Powell's promotion did not just happen.

Clifford Alexander, who was Secretary of the US Army from 1977 to 1981, explains how he held up a list of proposed generals because of lack of diversity. He then gave instructions to look at all records of eligible colonels to ensure ratings were based only on fair and equitable criteria.

His board followed his directives and .... Colin Powell emerged on the candidate list.

As he explains in the NY Times article Colin Powell's Promotion: The Real Story "He did not get anything extra and his white colleagues did not get anything extra either. The rise of Colin Powell through the ranks of the United States Army to brigadier general had to do with his performance as a soldier”.

This is a great success story of a good diversity practice. I had heard about it a long time ago and today I mentioned it to some friends. Then I googled it and I was lucky to find this excellent article published in the NY TImes.

Are you planning to move to the European Union?

If you are planning to move to the European Union, you should know that immigration rules are not the same in every EU country. This is because most EU countries have both EU rules and their own national rules. In addition, there are exceptions to the EU-wide immigration rules in countries like Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Common rules apply if you are a highly qualified worker or if you wish to study or do research in an EU country. 

Nevertheless, applications must always be made to the authorities of the EU country you plan to move to. For full information about this topic and links to the country specific websites, please visit The EU immigration portal.

Each EU country decides on topics like the total number of migrants that can be admitted, all final decisions on migrant applications and rules on long term visas.

In general, to enter the EU, you must present the necessary papers to the border authorities. These could include:
  • Passport
  • Short-stay visa or long-stay visa
  • Documents to show the purpose of your stay
  • Documents to show that you have enough money for your stay and return

Border control officials will check your identity on the basis of your travel documents and examine your papers to see that you meet all entry conditions.

If you hold a long-stay visa or a residence permit from one of the 22 EU countries that are in the Schengen area, you can move freely in this area for up 3 months during a six-month period of time.

If you have resided legally for an uninterrupted period of five years in an EU country, you can apply to become a long-term resident. You will need to meet certain conditions that may include demonstrate that you speak the local language. Long term residents status means that the person will have similar rights as EU citizens in areas that may include access to employment and work conditions, education and work-related training, social protection. The EU immigration portal has comprehensive information about all these topics.

Gender diversity in Politics. What will the future bring us?

When Hillary Clinton dropped out of the Democratic primary in 2008, she said during her concession speach"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time,"
Angela Merkel by א (Aleph) (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 2.5 
 via Wikimedia Commons
Eight years later, at thDemocratic National Convention, she was named as the first female presidential nominee of a major political party in the US. In her keynote speach she mentioned: "Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president. Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come. I’m happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I’m happy for boys and men—because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit."
In the recent election, she won in the popular vote but the way the votes were divided by states meant that Trump won the election. She sounded less optimistic in her concession speach"I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now."
During the last few days, I have read several articles in the US press where they doubt whether they will see a woman President anytime soon. As always, you can see the glass half empty or half full, but to me it is time to feel optimistic.

In Europe, Theresa May is Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party and Angela Merkelis the Chancellor of Germany and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). We see progress in many places.
We will soon realize how much Hillary Clinton has accomplished and how she has helped gender equality take a huge leap forward. I am confident we will sooner than later see a female President in the US and in other European countries, such as Sweden and Spain.