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There's plenty of role models to follow - people who definitely proved that you can code, whatever gender you happen to be. To pick some that aren't listed in the comments that I've noticed so far, try Barbara Liskov and Jeanette Wing, who together developed the underpinnings of OO. Liskov didn't stop there either, she went on to take Byzantine Fault Tolerant distributed system theory and make a practical implementation (an NFS server). Prior to this, BFT systems had been considered interesting research lines, but not actually practical. In case you might think that BFT hasn't really made it out of the lab, you might have heard of "BitCoin", which is itself a (very slow) BFT database. She was awarded an honourary doctorate from ETH Zurich - the same year as Donald Knuth.

Jeanette Wing, meanwhile, went through the research arm of Microsoft - ending up as Corporate VP - before turning back to academia. Her own research is in formal methods and she also created and leads the discipline of "Computational Thinking", which is to programming what the Scientific Method is to science.

These aren't role models for just other people who happen to share the same gender. They're my role models, and they should be role models for everyone.

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