Given the current climate regarding gender politics, it doesn't surprise me one bit that NASA has chosen to put the first human on Mars based on sex, rather than based on whomever is the most qualified at the time. Merit, or ability probably doesn't matter as much as people may think. Consider that a dog and a monkey went into space before a human ever did.
The first person to set foot on Mars whether male or female will have their name forever remember in history but let's face it, it's the engineers and scientists on the ground (male and female) that will really be responsible for making this event possible. The astronaut, whether it be male, female or non human is basically a glorified passenger.
Add; In the article NASA says they want a diverse array of talent, yet they say say they are basically only considering women. Very hypocritical. If one truly wants diversity of talent and the best talent, one should select that talent in a gender blind, equal opportunity fashion, not advantage one sex over the other