In my corner of the photography world, studio /environmental portrait/wedding photography, women are steadily gaining ground in the percentage of professional photographers.
Back in the 70s, almost ALL photographers were men with women working in retouching and running the studio. Through the years that gradually changed, but with the advent of automatic cameras and digital the number of women has skyrocketed. Today at a professional photography convention, I'd say that 30-40 percent may be women.
I agree that the gear head aspect was a determining factor in the past, and now with digital it's more of an artistic process, than the physical one that darkroom work entailed. The entire process with digital seems very suited to a woman's sensibilities and interests, and they can cut to the chase in getting to the results they envision.
I'm not saying they can't in an analog/darkroom context, but that it didn't really suit them. They know what they want and playing with tools is not their main interest but instead a means to an end.
I will bet that in my field that in 20 years the majority off professionals will be female, working the family/kid and maybe the wedding corner of the market.