How do you skew awards? By making sure you skew the judging panel. Unfortunately it happens far too frequently.
One case in point: The past few years the Griffin Poetry Prize ratio has been skewed to more male judges than female... and guess what? In the past few years far more male than female poets have been nominated. We'll see in April 2010 whether it makes a difference in the line-up.
Judges are Anne Carson, Kathleen Jamie and Carl Phillips. Short bios available here.