Re: Typical attitude from the unoppressed...
This doesn't ring true.
1) most references are curated by the candidate and thus they don't use negative ones
2) it isn't strictly legal to torpedo someone's chances that highly. It's why 'no comment' is pretty damaging.
Yes, a reference can tip you off, but not in the terms you put. At best I think you're grossly inflating it.
Plus, I should mention... If most of the other candidates were women, then why didn't you hire one of the runners up who DID check out?