Back in around June this year, producer Brian Burleson had said that female characters would not be playable within the game, the result of which saw an online petition arrive, which quickly grew strong in support.
However it seems like competitive multiplayer will feature a range of both male and female characters, all of which can be customized.
In fact, according to Kotaku, you'll be able to, "write on your gear, customize your armor, and even attach a flamethrower to your pulse rifle if you felt so inclined."
It seems the team was not ready to announce this at the moment, so some details are still to be ironed out. At least the petitions can stop now though? Right?