I know quite a few exceptionally intelligent women, but many of them are not recognized as such even among their friends, because they don't present in the same way that similarly intelligent men do. Men often engage in certain social displays, such talking authoritatively and with the assumption they'll be listened to about their subjects (not to mention other subjects), or holding jobs in business or STEM fields with high prestige. Some of the women I know do this -- but many don't, and this short article by +Amy Sundberg
digs in to why and what that means.
One thing I'd call out is jobs. We tend to be blind to this because we treat a certain way of doing things as the default: if these women are so intelligent, why aren't
they in ambitious, high-powered jobs? Turn this thought around for a moment: being in an ambitious, high-powered job requires intelligence, but it also requires that you make being in this job your top priority. These jobs require tremendous sacrifice in all aspects of your life, shape your personality, keep you working 16-hour days. You have to value this sort of job a lot
for that to be worth it. Men in the US are raised to value it just this much -- but that's an unusual exception, not the rule. Even if you go over to France, you find a very different attitude towards the importance of one's work in life; 100-hour work weeks are almost unheard-of there. The fact is, if you're very intelligent and can figure out a way to do things you love and not
work 100 hours a week, unless you personally happen to really want to do that you would be an idiot to do it.
And that's one thing I see very commonly among my most intelligent women friends. They could
get one of these jobs, but not being pressured externally to do so in the same way that men are, they instead work in areas that they're passionate about. Because those areas often aren't big corporate jobs, they therefore don't have that big metaphorical "hey, I'm a smart, important person!" ID card hanging around their necks -- and people don't take them seriously.
Especially, I have noticed, people stupider than they are. Noticing that someone is smarter than you are, especially when they're quiet about it, is actually kind of tricky.