As the developer of GearHead, I want women to feel comfortable and welcome in this space. The game belongs to you as much as it does to anyone else. As far as I know we haven’t had any major problems in the community, but I also know enough to know that I wouldn’t necessarily know if we did.
There’s a much smaller gender divide between the bug reports/feature requests I get via email and the participation on the forum. As far as I know, most of the active forum members are men. The email I get regarding GearHead is closer to a 60/40 men/women split.
Why is it important? First off, because excluding people from something they enjoy just because of their gender/color/creed/etc is a terrible thing to do. Second, because having women participate in the community will provide additional perspectives and help the game develop in ways which appeal to both women and men. Third, having women actively participating in the community will make it seem less like a boys-only club, thereby encouraging more women to participate.
So what can be done about it? Good question. If you’re a woman who plays GearHead, I’d like to hear your opinions.