This article in The Guardian is an interesting read. Are women fantasy writers not taken as seriously as the men?
It's something to think about, but personally, I don't like Phillip Pullman's stuff (just a matter of taste, and I have a few problems with his world building, and his writing - but I know lots of people really like his stuff). I do really like J.K. Rowling's stuff. There are some who nit pick at the quality of the writing too, but that's a whole other discussion, and if you're interested you can follow it here and here.