This is very, very common. I think it's our brains thinking that we will step on our partner. Guys have to get over it pretty quickly when they learn to lead. Having someone "ask" their partner to walk forward is a lot less common. It's rare to lead this and have the woman step forward like she means it.
However, depending on the amount of arch and flexibility a woman has in her feet, it can be quite difficult to keep her toe down while stepping forward in a typical tango shoe. If she can't get her toe down, she is initially placing all her weight out in front of her on that tiny stiletto heel that holds her foot (and the rest of her) 4" off the floor on a pole and NOTHING ELSE!
If she were walking down the street in these shoes, she would most likely NOT walk with that much reach. (and how many tangueras actually wear 3-4" heels off the dance floor regularly? Of course, many ladies invest in these stilettos before they get asked to do much forward walking. They actually can HELP with backward walking.
So if you are informed you aren't reaching far enough, it may be that you need to determine whether you are letting the shoes create an issue. That's easy enough to find out... take them off. If you still have trouble when wearing lower heels or dance sneakers or such, then you have a larger technique issue with walking forward.
But if your forward walking improves noticeably when you have no heel on your shoe, then the height or instability of the shoe heels is a part of your problem and requires a different approach to fix that just reminders to reach or walk with more intention.
Yes, followers have to learn to get over their fear of walking right into their partner just as leaders did and they get to delay learning it quite a bit longer. But women in high heels have more issues to deal with in forward walking than the male leaders did.
By the way, I never found a single male teacher who was able to recognize this problem on their own. It simply doesn't occur to most of them. In fact, I had several FEMALE teachers who acted as though they'd never given this any thought before I asked how to deal with my inflexible low arches and the heel of the shoe getting in my way. Those particular female teachers all had those high arches that allow them to bend their foot almost into a semicircle when pointed.