I know a lot of female programmers, and I know there are a good number of them out there.
But I don't recall ever having one of my questions answered by, nor have I ever answered a question by a female programmer here at Stack Overflow.
Now I mostly deal in the Delphi tag, and that may make a difference. But I've got the feeling there is something about the programming social network that Stack Overflow is, along with its form of mini-competition (via reputation) that turns most ladies off.
When I go down the first few pages of top users by rep, there is nary a lady to be found.
Go over to Quantcast and look up Stack Overflow. Go down to the Demographics, and you'll see that a full 20% of the visits are by females. So they are here, lurking and using the wonderful info that Stack Overflow provides.
Then why aren't there more of them participating, both with questions and answers?
What can Stack Overflow do to persuade female programmers to participate more?
So after a dozen downvotes offset by a dozen upvotes, and accusations by many that I am a bigot, the bottom line seems to be that Stack Overflow appeals to males more than females.
This is my observation and I believe a proper analysis would support the hypotheses that a much higher percentage of male programmers use Stack Overflow than the percentage of female programmers.
Assuming that is the case, then Stack Overflow is geared more towards the male psyche than the female. If so, I again ask, what can they do about that?
This question was asked in StackOverflow Meta on November 20, 2009. It was made Community Wiki. It was asked in a constructive manner and should be considered an appropriate question for Meta.
Yet it was closed over two years after it was asked as "not constructive" after more than 40 upvotes and 10 favorites and 16 answers.
Now it resides here on Meta StackExchange, still closed. I just shake my head.