I work at a large company, as a public-facing technical worker. Think of it kinda like a technology evangelist. As such, part of my career growth is dependent on how well known and influential I become within my particular vertical and region, which for this question, we shall call "the trinket industry in Antarctica"
Currently, as part of a large worldwide team, there are two of us working specifically with the trinket industry in Antarctica. I have 10 years of experience in the trinket industry, and have been working for this company for 3 years, while my peer has 20 years of experience in the trinket industry, and has been working for this company for 5 years. Apart from experience, we do the same type of work, and report to the same manager.
There's plenty of work for both of us, but whenever there is an "important project", or a large conference for the trinket industry, my peer unequivocally becomes the to-go person, and they end up doing these projects, which reinforces their influence and reputation, even if they're not the most technically difficult projects.
I, on the other hand, end up working on the less sexier projects that don't have large recognition, even if they're more technically challenging than the larger sexier projects. This reinforces the idea that I am secondary worker, and that my influence is unlikely to grow.
In other words, I don't get more important projects because I haven't done important projects, and I can't get more important projects because I haven't done important projects in the past.
I call this the "there can only be one of us" syndrome, because under these circumstances, only one person can be the influential, self-reinforcing, primary to-go person, whose career will easily grow once they're in this position, while any other people in the same role such as myself will be stunted and not grow, until either the primary person leaves for another role or company, or I leave for another role or company. The recognition and reputation gap has only widened since I joined this team.
I don't question the status quo: I agree that in the short term, if I needed a trinket evangelist for a large important project, I'd definitely go with the most reputable person. It is not other peoples' job to give opportunities to evenly grow the team, only to make each particular project succeed (even though in my opinion, evenly growing the team is better overall in the long term). Our team is also quite flat, so my manager has little say in who gets what project: we work with other teams to get involved in different projects.
The thing is, I really like this role, and I really enjoy working with our trinket partners and customers in Antarctica. Waiting for my peer to leave for another role or company, or moving myself to another role or company is not optimal. Furthermore, if I move somewhere else, I'd be starting from 0 years, and unless I'm the first and only person in that role, the same thing will happen over again.
How can I resolve this situation?