Purpose - Despite the well-documented resistance to feminism and gender equality within universities, the profound implications for feminist academics have not received sufficient attention. In this paper the author aims to focus on the inauthentication of feminist academic work by powerful actors in higher education and the implications for feminist academic careers. The author illustrates through her professional experience at a UK medical school how the othering and exclusion of feminists, sustained through surveillance and power mechanisms of organisational life, can disrupt and interrupt feminist academic identity. Design/methodology/approach - This is a reflective piece of work that attempts to illustrate the author's experiences of occupational segregation and marginalisation within a patriarchal and an emerging "entrepreneurial" academic department. The author attempts to represent her lived professional experiences as a feminist academic in a medical school, through the use of narrative and metaphors. Findings - Drawing on notions of othering, interrupted and storied subjectivities, the author illustrates how gendered expectations and constructions of academic performance and success within patriarchal organisations can "make up" and "break up" the professional self and affect the nomadic nature of academic careers and identities. Practical implications - This paper contributes to theory about workplace identities and practice of gender equality in academia. Originality/value - The author illustrates how the intersections of identities (feminist, social scientist, woman) can shape personal stories, professional experiences and careers within universities. The author demonstrate how personal stories can uncover gender inequalities and challenge dominant paradigms of knowledge and research within a micro-web of emotionality and power relations.