Society often perceives men as experts more than women, a bias that needs to change. Here’s how we can help elevate women’s credibility and visibility in their fields.

At a conference, a senior executive quoted an article that was written without realizing who the author is, highlighting the common bias that sees men as the default experts.

When people picture experts, they often think of (white) men, sidelining women’s expertise. This bias was echoed by many women interviewed for the book, Over the Influence: Why Social Media is Toxic for Women and Girls – And How We Can Take It Back. Women noted that their social media posts on professional topics garnered less engagement compared to men’s.

Research supports these observations: women using social media for professional advancement often end up with fewer followers and resulting opportunities. As Kate Manne writes in Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women, men are often seen as the primary holders of knowledge in our society.

To change this, we need to give women’s knowledge greater visibility. Reminding people of women’s wisdom and achievements will help shift perceptions, making it more common for people to turn to women for expertise.

Women can contribute by sharing their knowledge publicly through talks, op-eds, and social media posts, emphasizing their work’s value to society. Following and sharing posts from women on social media also helps amplify their voices.

Additionally, we should boost other women in our professions by nominating them for awards and writing Wikipedia bios about them. Jess Wade, featured in my book, created Wikipedia pages for over 1,800 women and minorities in STEM, demonstrating the transformative impact of such visibility.

Employers play a crucial role too. Companies should feature women in media interviews, speaking engagements, and public-facing roles. They should also promote work-life balance to help women attain leadership roles, as excessive work expectations often hinder women with caregiving responsibilities. Leaders should model taking time off for family needs, reinforcing the importance of work-life balance.

Our society’s tendency to look to men for expertise holds women back in their careers. By elevating women’s knowledge and accomplishments, we can help people of all genders see women as experts and turn to them more often.