Staff Reporters
Aug 18, 2020

Women to Watch 2020: Vanessa Rowed, BWS Woolworths

As both a social entrepreneur and corporate marketer, Rowed applies skills and experiences picked up throughout her career with amazing results.

Women to Watch 2020: Vanessa Rowed, BWS Woolworths
Exceptional female talent from the APAC marcomms industry 

Vanessa Rowed

Head of marketing
BWS Woolworths

From founding her own business to leading the marketing practice for Australia’s largest retailer, Vanessa Rowed has had a rich and varied career. After cutting her teeth with clients at a boutique agency, she launched her own footwear company before ultimately moving into corporate marketing, first as national marketing manager of Commonwealth Bank Australia and then taking up the same role for McDonald’s ANZ.

Approached to lead the transformation of a much-loved Aussie food brand, Oporto, her marketing efforts helped the business from a five year decline into double digit growth. But it was on taking the head marketing position at BWS Woolworths that Rowed really proved herself, growing ecommerce penetration by 100%, successfully launching the new BWS app in market, achieving annual targets within the first 3 months and peaking at the second ranking on the app store.

Moreover, at BWS Rowed has worked to redefine it from a very retail, price-focused business to a more memorable, differentiated and inspiring brand, helping it reach record highs in the region's purchase intent and brand preference survey. And for the first time in the history of the brand, the work of the BWS marketing team is now being recognised within the industry at award shows.

While recognition is well deserved, Rowed has already received a lot throughout her career and is therefore dedicated to giving back. As the founder of her own social enterprise,, she produces children’s sleepwear and uses the profits to fund homes for less fortunate children in Vietnam while also serving on the board of Play for All, seeking to create inclusive spaces for children to play. 

Exceptional female talent from the APAC marcomms industry 


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