Also, not a lady here but I will offer a few thoughts.
My wife likes her XD-9 and so she got an XD-9 Subcompact for carry.
I had to replace a gun on my permit and the Ruger SR40c caught my eye. It's a very manageable small gun in this caliber! They put some magic sauce in it that makes recoil dissapear! Or so it would seem, anyway. Unexpectedly tame for a compact lightweight .40. I would definitely recommend she at least look at the SR9c and the SR40c (no, they're not just a different slide on top of the same frame, they are different!).
The one thing worse than defeat is surrender.