Gwyneth Paltrow Says Industry Discouraged Women From Being ‘Ambitious’

Although there’s still a long way to go, Gwyneth Paltrow said Hollywood is finally on the verge of creating a new archetype for women who can be both maternal and sexual.

Paltrow said at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon that “ambition” was an undesired trait in actresses during her early days in the industry.

“When I was a young women in Hollywood, if you were a woman focused on building your career, you were labeled ambitious, and that was a bad word,” she said on Friday at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons.

“So, I was decidedly not, and developed a ‘Oh, how could this happen to me?’ approach.”

Paltrow said that there’s been a shift in the industry: “Power of women rings a bit differently.”

The Oscar winner said Hollywood is finally “on the verge of creating a new archetype,” where it’s possible for a woman to be “naturing, maternal, sexual.”

“Fear of how we are perceived seems to be waning and things are being brought to the life. We are empowering each other. We are banding together to support each other. Yes, we suffer some slings and arrows along the way, not me obviously,” she teased. “I feel those slings and arrows fortify us.”

She also credited Variety‘s interview with Ashley Judd in which she revealed being sexually harassed by a Hollywood mogul as a sign that more women are starting to speak out.

“There no longer seems to be the fear of retribution,” she said. “We are empowering each other. We are encouraging each other to change business models, to try new ventures. We are banding together to support each other, to give each other advice, to change our existing culture. I believe that we are on the verge of creating a new antitype.”

Paltrow was recognized for her work with the L.A. Kitchen, which trains chefs from disadvantaged backgrounds. The chefs prepare meals using fruits and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste. The organization has a goal of serving 2,000 to 3,000 meals a day to the general public, and 3,000 to 6,000 more to senior citizens by 2016.

Gallery: Variety’s Power of Women Presented by Lifetime

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