I am in "the industry" and my experience, at least in the actual workplace, has generally been great. I go to work and feel excited to be there everyday. I've had enough jobs that felt like an ill-fitted costume to appreciate that this one feels like it "fits" me. I started as a QA tester, because that is where opportunity knocked, and I'm still in QA (senior tester now).
I don't consider myself to have failed in any way - I love my job, and I'm not done yet, and I'm determined to advance myself - but I can tell you exactly what would have helped me start "higher" in the industry (or advance there quicker). I didn't discover that I loved games inordinately, more than the next person, until I was older. I didn't own my own console until I bought one at about 15; I didn't have an internet connection at home until I was 19 or so. At the end of high school, I knew I loved games, and secretly fantasized about being able to build worlds in that way, but what actually went on inside those wonderful game boxes was a dark magic that I had no idea how to approach and thought I could never access. In short I was behind the curve. I thought it foolish to try to major in anything computer or game related, as I hadn't had any previous education on the subject. So I never told anybody about the fantasy of working on games until much later, and majored in something else. I thought it was already to late for me.
Later I realized that what goes on "under the hood" isn't magic, and it all can be learned. Still, while the boys learned some of these things as kids, when there was plenty of time for that, I had to catch up while working full time. That's not entirely a gender-specific thing, I'm sure there are males who had a similar experience due to the nature of their family or going to a small high school without many tech classes, ect. But I do think, at least when I was a kid, it was so far from the ideas of most people that a girl might be into games past the point of casual interest that I was really never exposed to the means to learn. I don't think its the same for kids now exactly; at least there's the internet now, where those who want to badly can learn. But I think its still a foreign idea to some people that girls would be interested in such things, and if it never occurs to anyone around you that you may want to learn something, it may not ever occur to you that you CAN learn it.
Another factor I can see is that a significant portion of the males in the industry who are married have a spouse who is willing to act in a "support" role to some degree. This doesn't affect me really currently, as I don't have kids. But I know through conversations I've had with men in the industry that a significant number of them are able to both have a family and do the work that they do because the wife takes care of the day-to-day logistics of kids. I'm not saying this is ALWAYS the case, and even if it is, it doesn't necessarily make life fabulously easy.. but I think it is very rare for a woman to have a similar sort of arrangement that allows her job to have such power in her life while still having a family - I'm speculating that for some women, a trade off has to be made and sometimes its the job that has to be compromised on.
So what do we do about it? I don't have a magic solution, and most of the ideas I have wouldn't necessarily help immediately. I think its important to share what you know with kids, even if you don't know as much as some other people. Even if you just teach a kid how to find out how they can learn more, that can have an impact. I think women with game/tech skills could make an impact by getting involved with after school programs, or maybe Girl Scouts, and letting kids know that they CAN learn this. I've been thinking for awhile now about how I could get involved; I just haven't found the right thing yet. Maybe you can make youtube videos or tutorials on something; if you can, do it. It might make a difference for someone.
Other than that, the strongest thing women can do is refuse to participate in a judgmental, catty culture with each other. I've written about it so much before that I don't want to get into it in depth here, but don't participate in "fake gamer girl" witch hunts or assume other females don't know anything. Trying to point out the weaknesses of other people doesn't make you appear stronger. Don't try to fit in with the boys club (or the mean girls club for that matter)by saying derogatory things about other women that you don't know from atom (I'm thinking mostly of comments on how someone is dressed, or that someone must be a slut, ect.) You don't have to like everyone, but its not that hard to give people the bare minimum respect that you would want to be given.