The academic workplace is often described as a place of merit and equal opportunities. However, research shows a leaky pipeline where the share of women and people of color decreases in the higher echelons of academia. Explanations are often structural referring to the access barriers women are confronted with such as hiring and recruitment. This research investigates what goes wrong in the early phases of a female academic's career. From an intersectional perspective, I study the experiences with everyday sexism and racism of PhD and post‐doctoral researchers across disciplines. After conducting 50 in‐depth interviews four processes are discovered: smokescreen of equality, everyday cloning, patronization, and paternalism.