A meritocracy invalidates the need for equality and instead thrives on the value of our differences, whatever the composition of those differences. Evolution relies on the importance of our meaningful differences to improve, not on our stifling commonalities.
So, the idea that you want to artificially and preemptively give praise to a specific segment of our population is the very denial of a meritocracy we should instead hold in high regard.
Put differently: the assumption women would be less successful is a consequence of a failing meritocracy at its cause. We should fix the cause, not tinker with undesirable consequence.
Not because women, or any other segment of our population, are by definition less capable. Only people living in the Stone Age, still believe in the presumptive merit of segmentation over individuals, and all it takes is for those fools to die out.
Not everyone can be an entrepreneur, but an entrepreneur can come from anywhere, is the modification I apply to a statement from the movie Ratatouille I insist everyone watch. For the movie deals precisely with how preconceived qualifications destroy the detection of outliers.