I have met several very brilliant female engineers, but none for whom the thrill of sheer gadgetry matters much at all. What they get out of it is the thrill of analysis; and if they can stomach the gadgetry aspect, they stay. While for many male engineers, the thrill of gadgetry is the whole reason they got into programming in the first place.
“It’s lonely at the top. 99% of people are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most competitive.”