The issue here is not tolerant meaning not trying to offend anyone, because that is an impossible task. (ex: I wear a red tie today, and the women in the elevator says the red tie OFFENDS her.. (its a freaking colour).. but rather trying to be more understanding of the other side that is expressing their individuality (ex: rather than taking offense at again, my colour tie, especially where no offense was given, or even implied, instead choosing to recognize it is in fact, just a TIE, part of any normal apparel by any human, and not look for offense where none in given. If I personally knew the person, or red was culturally insensitive (again, known) then perhaps a slight offense could be claimed.
The issue with this situation is people are getting offended by a cultural difference that does not subject these people to any degradation or offense. (other than what we, the outsiders) want to attach. I think many people said it here already, in most work places (even those outside of china), the mindset is "I don't care about your life, I wand productivity.. work harder or you are fired".. but what some people fail to recognize is programming is an art, and you can write junk code (functional but non elegant which requires more work down the line (QA, bug fixes, etc..) or elegant code.. and yes.. mood and life does enter into it by being inspired).
Simply (as some have suggested).. hire more females to program doesn't turn anyone instantly from shy to outgoing, especially if there is no assistance on HOW to interact. (and the same is true for females as well).. I've worked in programming shops in Japan (some where the ratios have been 60/40 (yes, still higher men than women).. but in ALL cases, both groups were afraid to talk with each other for fear of one, making an faux pas, or worse, an embarrassing mistake which might cost them their job.
The purpose of these "cheerleaders" is to one, break the cycle of monotony.. (yes, it can get dull hacking out code, especially if you are a grunt), two, allow these people (some of who spend 80 - 90% of their lives at work) a chance at a break, and allow them to incorporate some social norms back into their lives without fear of retribution and education. Or to put it another way.. the socially awkward geek(s) gets connected with the socially adept socialite in order to learn how to be cool (ie: almost every teen flick in the past 30 years). Virtually EVERY study indicates a happy employee is a productive employee. (why do you think Google, or Microsoft, etc... all spend so much on employee perks (food, social gatherings, etc..) these are all to bring some normality back into their lives, to forge better team bonding, and for those that are shy a chance to interact in a socially prescribed way that does not require them to use skills they may not have or suck at.
And for those that are arguing these women are being hired SOLELY on their looks, that is not always the case.. yes, their looks are part of the equation.. but their ability to help these folks out of their shells, and in effect become a "Cheerleader" is also a factor.. (not every "hot girl" off the street is going to qualify because they lack the temperament and skills to help others.