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The 2015 top 30 LGBT leaders of the future according to the Financial Times

Alessandro Commisso works at Lush Cosmetics and is the only Italian to be recognised one of the future LGBT leaders by the Financial Times.

The 2015 ranking dedicated to the top 30 LGBT leaders has been published by the Financial Times, UK’s most important economic newspaper. Among them, there’s only one Italian: Alessandro Commisso, 28, in charge of Global Brand Operations at Lush Cosmetics. Commisso is gay, and he believes that the qualities that brought him to be part of the FT ranking, realised in collaboration with OUTstanding, are others: “I’m young, stubborn, hyperactive, and rebel”.

 

gay-is-ok-lush
The bars of soap of the campaign #GayIsOk di Lush lanched by Alessandro Commisso

 

His professional career at Lush started in 2009, through a contest following the resignation of one of the copywriters. Commisso was still attending high school, but he got the job. He then enrolled in the faculty of Economics and Marketing at the University of Bologna, keeping working at Lush: “I’ve always worked – almost full time – with passion, until I decided to move to Paris for studying”. There, he improved his English and French, and most of all, Lush Founder Mark Constantine noticed him, thanks to a contest for the realisation of a new product. Commisso got promoted and he now coordinates the meetings between different Lush’s areas all over the world, UK included. He recently launched the campaign #GayIsOk, aimed at informing that homosexuality is a crime in 76 countries.

 

 

The ranking has been drawn up together with the association OUTstanding, which fights for LGBT rights, mostly at work, where there are still many cases of aggression and exclusion. According to a recent research, 43% of gay men have gone through homophobic behaviours in the workplace.

 

Aritha Wickramasinghe, Associate at K&L Gates, ranked first: “By being visible, LGBT leaders send the message to LGBT youth that being themselves is not a detriment to their careers”. Mark McBride-Wright, Safety Engineer at KBR, placed second. He is active in promoting LGBT inclusion in the world of engineering, which is not prone to accept diversity: “Engineering needs more open LGBT leaders and role models if it is to catch up to the inclusiveness of other, more open industries such as banking and law”. Cory Valente, Associate Scientist & Global Leader at The Dow Chemical Company ranked third. He is one of the founders of the Delaware Valley LGBT Consortium, comprised of multinational businesses to leverage best practices for the betterment of the LGBT community.  He has spoken publically multiple times on the benefits of LGBT equality both inside and outside the workplace.

 

 

Commisso placed 14th and seized the opportunity to call on Italian leaders in favour of LGBT rights equality. Among others, he wrote to the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who has promised a law on civil unions, and to other Italian entrepreneurs. Italy is the only country of Western Europe to not recognise civil unions between same-sex people.

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