for the record I am a male INFP, and largely thinking about female ENFP's.
about INFP's being taken more seriously:
I had to think about this some, but I have seen situations where ENFP's are not taken as seriously during conversations. However, they are usually enjoyed and popular and get people/class to laugh when they talk.
When I think of work/school conversations from when I was in science/engineering/technology, I definitely didnt feel like my "INFP contribution" was desired very often, if ever. GUess thats working in NT-land for you. However, and maybe this is just the INTJ-ENFP fetishist thing, I saw many times where ENFP's got lots of reception and attention from said NT/INTJ's and the ENFP's would be all over the place with their Ne brainstorming and the INTJ's would constantly be like "good idea" "good question" "your so interesting" etc.
I'm currently in school for medical training, and we I've seen probably almost every MBTI type among my peers by now. So we have pretty good variety, including a near 50-50 split between men and women. I feel like I see a lot of strongly-E woman [ESFP, ENFP, ESFJ] and then a ENFP comes in and the strongly-E women are all like "we love your energy" "your so enthusiastic" "we love you" "your so great" etc. Then I look at us various I's, especially male I's, and well sometimes it almost seems like we get passed over *just* for not being loud/social/demonstrative enough. "Its not what you know its how loudly you do it" could perhaps be the catchphrase there. Now, to be fair, I like the ENFP(s) in qstn, and I think they are good people and good workers.
I think INFP's are frequently awesome once you get to know them. But for pure "social pow" and "hey, this person seems interesting" I think ENFP's totally win that category. Quoting form skylights in the "ENFP's in friendship and love" thread: "I definitely tend to shy away from spending 1-on-1 time with people... who are very, very quiet, so that I always have to initiate." Now, personally I've been called a "chatty kathy" more times than I can count, but realistically I think in many many cases INFP's are seen as, fairly or not, those very very quiet people skylights was talking about. It seems like ENFP's generally don't have that "problem."
I personally feel like well developed ENFP's and INFP's, and by well developed I mean here strong Fi and strong Ne, can definitely "play in each others worlds." With that said, usually INFP's seem at their best when they bring their warm safe nurturing accepting presence to others. INFP's can definitely think outside of the box and innovate, but I'm not sure how often we gene rally do that. I'm not sure if ENFP's are more known for being either 1) super creative all-over-the-place idea brainstormers or 2) also having a warm accepting easygoing and possibly nurturing social presence. I've seen plenty of ENFP's do both of those things pretty well, and jump between them pretty easily.
When I think of the ENFP's that I know, I think INFP's are generally more effective at 1) being grounded [if non-engaging], 2) being calm, 3) bringing a calming presence to others, 4) focusing, 5) staying focused, and 6) accomplishing work via staying focused. maybe I should add 7) having a life that doesnt resemble a hurricane or tornado
There is that saying "its better to be lucky than good." In a world where it is often far much more about who you know than what you know, I think an alternate saying should "its better to be social/popular/or well-known than it is to be good/skilled/SME."
If absolutely nothing else, strong-E's seem to really prefer ENFP's over INFP's ime.
About ENFP's being taken more seriously when they talk: personally I feel like ENFP's just lightly say something or flirt with an idea and then other people get all excited and the conversation takes off from their, whereas for me, and maybe for other INFP's I don't know for sure, its like I talk and people are either like "I have no idea what you are talking about" or "wow, that was deep, my head hurts, now back to what we were doing before.."