"When I started out, someone suggested that we finish a meeting in the bedroom," the actress, 38, tells Elle magazine in its Women in Hollywood issue. "I left. I was pretty shocked. I could see how someone who didn't know better might worry, 'My career will be ruined if I don't give this guy a blow job!' "
From Shakespeare in Love to Iron Man, Paltrow has seen success as a woman on the big screen, but she feels "dejected" about the roles offered to females in the industry – especially as she gets older.
"There's a lot [of roles that are] okay, but there's little that's really good, especially for someone my age," she says. "Sometimes you find out that something you really liked is going to someone 10 years younger."
As for her favorite leading ladies: "I find it heartening that Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock have been able to find and create amazing projects."