Dr Catherine Baird SVP Emirates Airlines (Cabin Crew Training) is a passionate people manager with experience leading performance, engagement, learning and development. Katherine has been an aviation professional for 25 years working with a number of airlines and alliances. She has been based in different countries gaining an insight into both cultural and corporate ways of operating. Her background includes British Airways based in London working as cabin crew, training and recruitment. She relocated back to Melbourne with Ansett Australia as part of the start-up team for the international operation culminating in the GM Operations and Inflight Training. She was selected as Director of Training and Development for Star Alliance based in Frankfurt Germany. Then she moved from Star Alliance to Gulf Air in the Middle East as Head of Training and Development. She is now currently in Dubai working with Emirates Airline as SVP Cabin Crew Training. Specialties: People and performance, learning and development, change management, human resources, employee engagement, leadership, coaching and recruitment. Experience in airline start-up with breadth of knowledge across many functions within an airline operation such as inflight crew, product, marketing, and brand engagement.
Dr. Catherine has 40 years’ experience in learning and development, predominately in the education and aviation sectors. In the education sector she had a fascinating time working in a deaf school. In the school she reignited people self belief so that deaf sports men and sports women could take on pupils in other schools without feeling any disadvantage. She had the attitude that whether you think you can or you think you can’t, then you’re probably right. Your attitude defines your attitude.
Her career has taken her across the globe including Australia, the UK, Germany and the GCC region. In 2005 Dr. Catherine moved to Dubai and joined Emirates Airline. Since joining Emirates she has led the training team through a time of exponential growth with crew numbers of 6,000 in 2005 to over 21,000 in 2019. Emirates cabin crew community come from over 140 nationalities and speak more than 60 languages.