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Harini Iyengar

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Harini Iyengar
BornManchester, England
🏳️ Nationality
💼 Occupation

Harini Iyengar is an English Barrister and Governing Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and on the steering group of the Temple Women’s Forum. She is based at 11 King's Bench Walk (11KBW) Law Chambers.[1]


Harini Iyengar was born and raised in Manchester, England, where her Indian immigrant parents were both NHS doctors.[2][3]


Iyengar attended Manchester Grammar School[4] and then went on to read law at Brasenose College, Oxford[5] where she debated in the Oxford Union.[6] Her thesis was in Freedom of Assembly and she matriculated from Brasenose in 1993.[7]


Iyengar was called to the Bar in 1999 when she was seven months pregnant.[3]

Following a high profile case of a temporary receptionist, Nicola Thorp, being sent home unpaid after she refused to follow the dress code at the office of accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers and wear high heels, a petition was submitted to the House of Commons and Iyengar gave evidence.[8] At the joint petition hearing between the Petitions Committee and the Women and Equalities Committee into High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes Iyengar said that, "I think that if you came before the tribunal you would have pleaded both direct and indirect sex discrimination in both cases, and it depends really whether we want to modernise what we regard as conventional dress."[9]

Media work

Iyengar has also commentated in the media on high profile cases including: plans to force large firms to disclose data on the gender pay gap among staff (Sky News)[10] the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations (Newsnight);[11] and sexual harassment in the workplace (ITV News at Ten).[12]


As a post-graduate student Harini stood for the Labour Party at 1997 Oxfordshire County Council local election, two years later as a working single mother she "found that none of the old parties spoke to me or for me and ... became disillusioned and alienated from politics for many years."[6]

Iyengar stood for the Women's Equality Party (WEP) in the Greater London Assembly elections in May 2016, and at their first party conference in November 2016 she was elected to Policy Committee as Spokesperson on Equal Representation.[3][13][2]

In the 2017 general election, Iyengar stood for the WEP in Vauxhall. She came fifth with 1% of the vote.[14]

In the local council election on 3 May 2018, Iyengar was the WEP candidate for the Dalston ward of the London Borough of Hackney; she was also the party's candidate in the Hackney mayoral election on the same day. Iyengar came fifth in both elections, attaining 7% and 4.1% of the vote respectively.[15][16]


To mark the 40th anniversary of the admission of women into Brasenose College the student committee (JCR Committee) commissioned twelve portraits of past female students. Nominations were sought from past alumni for Brasenose women they believed to be inspiring and extraordinary. Nearly 200 nominations were received and divided into various categories of fields of work. The JCR committee then voted to select the final shortlist of twelve subjects. The twelve, including Iyengar, were then photographed by portrait photographer Bill Knight.[5][17]


  • Iyengar, Harini (September 2018). A practical guide to the law of gender pay gap reporting. Minehead, Somerset, UK: Law Brief Publishing. ISBN 9781911035947. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png

Personal life[edit]

Iyengar is a single mother to three children.[3]


  1. "Harini Iyengar". 11kbw.com. 11 King's Bench Walk (11KBW) Law Chambers. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lytton, Charlotte (27 January 2016). "Who are the 5 gutsy women challenging male politicians to be the next London Mayor?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Harini Iyengar". huffingtonpost.co.uk. HuffPost. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  4. Staff writer. "Meet the candidates - General Election 2017: Harini Iyengar". womensequality.org.uk. Women's Equality Party (WEP). Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Staff writer (28 May 2015). "40 years of women in Brasenose project". brasenosejcr.org. Brasenose JCR. Retrieved 12 February 2018. See also: Student blog about the project by student Margherita De Fraja.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Simmons, Richard (23 May 2017). "Election 2017: Meet the barrister standing for the Women's Equality Party". Lawyer 2B. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  7. Thomas, Rosie (January 2017). "40 years of women in Brasenose project, profile: Harini Iyengar" (PDF). brasenosejcr.org. Brasenose JCR. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  8. Johnston, Chris (12 May 2016). "Woman's high-heel petition receives 100,000-plus signatures". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  9. Harini Iyengar, Witness (12 July 2016). "Petitions Committee (jointly with Women and Equalities Committee) 'High heels and workplace dress codes' Examination of Witnesses (Q98–Q126)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). HC 291. United Kingdom: House of Commons. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png Pdf. Video.
  10. Anna Botting (Presenter), Harini Iyengar (Barrister) (8 April 2015). Harini Iyengar talks to Sky News about the recent change in law regarding equal pay (news item) (Television). Sky News. Sky plc via YouTube. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  11. Evan Davis (Presenter), Harini Iyengar (Employment Barrister) et al. (24 October 2017). News item discussing compensation and non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases in light of the Harvey Weinstein allegations (Television). Newsnight. BBC. 34:00 minutes in. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  12. Penny Marshall (ITV News Social Affairs Editor), Harini Iyengar (Employment Barrister) et al. (8 February 2018). Half of women surveyed experienced sexual harassment in workplace but majority goes unreported (news item) (Television). ITV News at Ten. ITV. 1:10 minutes in. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  13. Staff writer. "WEP Policy Committee – Equal Representation Spokesperson: Harini Iyengar". womensequality.org.uk. Women's Equality Party (WEP). Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  14. "Vauxhall parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  15. "Councillors Election 2018". Hackney Council. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  16. "Mayor of Hackney election 2018". Hackney Council. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  17. King, Katie (29 April 2016). "11KBW barrister returns to Oxford Graduate Students' Dinner where she was groped by academic". Legal Cheek. Retrieved 13 February 2018.

External links[edit]

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