We've done a lot of AniMated characters for a LOT of companies in a lot of different situations. One of the most common AniMates is an audience advocate character--a human (most often), virtual representation of the audience's mindset. The audience advocate asks presenters the tough questions on everyone's mind, brings up the audience's point of view, and is essentially one of "them" on the stage.
Because they add humor and let audiences know that they are being represented and taken into account, audience advocate AniMates are extremely popular.
And these characters are most often male.*
Occasionally we're asked the question: what if we made the AniMate a female?
A good question--and very appropriate when the audience skews female. And yet, we usually advise against a female AniMate save for cases in which the audience is *overwhelmingly* female.
It's not that we don't want to do female characters, but the reasons are--perhaps--more indicative of gender roles in most corporate cultures than anything. Whereas a male AniMate can get off telling an executive that they have to prove themselves, and that they're skeptical about the new plan (before the executive gives a refined and credible argument that turns the AniMate around--along with the audience, of course), when a female brings up the shortcomings of an authority (male or female) she can come off as...well...whining.
They're the same words written by the same writer--the only difference is the face and the voice behind the argument--yet in the perception of the character there is a world of difference.
We're not saying it's fair or it's right--it's just how it is right now with most audiences that we deal with. It's interesting that while an AniMate in general is a mirror of an audience, that the bias for a male or a female AniMate is a mirror of society.
*It's interesting to note that the scripting for these AniMates is written by a female writer.