By Alison Pyott

This August 8th, I am called to celebrate gender lens investing pioneer Suzanne Biegel. This is a tribute to my fellow Leo, colleague, collaborator, and most of all, friend. Suzanne has long been a source of insight, mentorship, and inspiration to me and to so many of us across the global impact space.

I first met Suzanne at Criterion Convergence X: Investing with a Gender Lens in 2011. She brought her own cosmic energy to our diverse group of philanthropists, systems leaders, researchers, and financial professionals. She inspired us to do more to invest in women with our collective networks, expertise, and resources. Over the past twelve years, she has helped me and my fellow Verisians, including Patricia Farrar-Rivas, Luisamaria Carlile, Stephanie Cohn Rupp, and Roraj Pradhananga manifest our gender lens investing work at Veris. She has often served as a trusted sounding board and as primary source for our firm’s gender lens research and papers, including Bending the Arc of Finance

Astrologers refer to August 8th as the Lion’s Gate. According to Yoga Journal, it is “a mystical day, a culmination of cosmic alignments along with wisdom and beliefs passed down from ancient cultures” that embodies “enhanced awareness that lies beyond our usual perception.” It is considered by many to be an ideal day to set intentions and manifest what you want to bring into reality.¹ Like the energy of the Lion’s Gate, I believe Suzanne has awareness beyond usual perception. Her boundless energy shines bright. She uses this energy to challenge our thinking about what is possible, inspires us to unlock possibilities and potential, and she gets a lot of work done!

Suzanne’s intentions and energy have created, contributed to, and curated global networks of people investing in women and positive social and environmental change, including GenderSmart – now known as 2xGlobal. Through her work, Suzanne has influenced hundreds of funds and institutional investors and billions of dollars of capital to move with a gender lens.² She has nurtured and incubated so many initiatives that Suzanne is known as “catalyst at large.” ³

Heading for Change

In the summer of 2021, Suzanne was diagnosed with stage four metastatic lung cancer. While many of us would step back from our work, Suzanne’s energy shined brighter. After considering the legacy she wanted to leave, Suzanne and her husband Daniel Maskit established a donor-advised fund to make investments and grants that would advance both climate and biodiversity solutions and gender equity. The fund, Heading for Change, puts the insights Suzanne has gained through her investment career into practice on a larger scale, dedicating her legacy portfolio to catalytic investments that will help build the investment vehicles, businesses, and institutions the world needs to battle the climate crisis and build a more just and gender equitable world.

Suzanne and Daniel launched Heading for Change with a $1 million investment, and they seek to grow it exponentially with the help of hundreds of donor-partners who are driven to help build the ecosystem and generate investor demand for these kinds of investments more broadly. Suzanne has said that their aim is for Heading for Change to inspire other private investors to move their capital with a joint climate and gender lens.⁴ Suzanne and Daniel believe that these kinds of investments have the collective power to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis, and to scale the tools and services needed for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience in a gender-inclusive way.⁵

In true Suzanne fashion, Heading for Change continues to foster and build Suzanne’s global network of entrepreneurs, philanthropists, systems leaders, and investors. It invites collaboration, seeks intelligent innovation, and is designed to inspire others to act so that more pioneering, transformative ideas will succeed. I see Heading for Change as an ongoing spark of her life intentions and manifestations. For more information about Heading for Change and the different ways you can participate, visit

I admire Suzanne’s shining example to help others invest with social and environmental consciousness with elegance, enthusiasm, and intelligence. As we celebrate her today, my hope is Suzanne’s life continues to be an inspiration and guiding light.

Alison Pyott is a Senior Wealth Manager and Partner at Veris. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) professional.  The CPWA certification is an advanced professional education and certification program for advisors who serve high-net-worth clients. Alison formerly led the firm’s Women, Wealth, and Impact strategy, co-authoring several papers on gender lens investing including Gender Lens Investing: Bending the Arc of Finance for Women & Girls. Alison is on the Heading for Change Investment Committee. Read Alison Pyott’s full bio.