Over at listen 101, a reader of Steve Hicken's raises interesting questions about the makeup of an ensemble and the works they program; ACD chimes in as you might expect.
I think this is a complex issue.
I would not take a small, and venerable, chamber music ensemble like the Juilliard Quartet to task for being all white men. Look at the makeup of American string quartets formed within the last 30 years - which are all white men, again? The Emersons, and who else? As recently as the 1970s, most major orchestras had just a few women in them. I think at that time Doriot Dwyer of the Boston Symphony may have been the only woman playing principal anything in the majors. Today, look at the roster of any professional orchestra. You'll find the list is about half women.
As far as ACD's commented on pandering goes, programming classical music is complicated, and plenty of pandering of various types already goes on. Mostly, there's pandering to the perceived old/conservative audience that supposedly sees classical music as a museum and supposedly is not interested in new music. Those people are often major donors, and upsetting them with "radical" programming can have serious financial consequences for an organization. Note, for example, the lawsuit by the estate or foundation of Sybil Harrington over the use of her money to fund the current Met Tristan und Isolde. The production is by no means radical or unusual, except that it wasn't what the lawsuit terms "traditional" and so not a suitable use of her money.
Music directors and artistic administrators make programming decisions with all sorts of interests in mind: which soloists are available, an organization's commitment to performing new or 20th century music, the size of the venue that's available, whether enough rehearsal time can be scheduled to learn 5 rather than 3 works new to the ensemble, und so weiter.
Which composers to program is just one more decision of that type. I would wager that everyone reading this blog has a list of composers who ought to be played more often, from acknowledged masters such as Hadyn, Bartok, and Dufay to underrated and underplayed women composers such as Ruth Crawford. Everyone has their own bugaboos about programming. You can find a number of my rants about programming at the San Francisco Symphony elswhere on this blog, for example.
Honestly, you might as well program a season with lots of rarely-heard women and minority composers. There'd be some terrific music, and some dreck. That's what happens any time you're programming unfamiliar or new music.
I really ought to rant more about the omission of women composers. Elaine Fine had a few things to say about The Rest is Noise today, and certainly the emergence of important women composers in the second half of the 20th century is a huge story.
At the same time, I'm not going to skip a program of interesting music by living composers because the ensemble didn't program any music by women composers. I'm reminded of a friend of mine who, for a long time, and maybe still, would not read books by dead white men. I thought that was just as silly and arbitrary as only reading books by dead white men.