So the star has founded two companies to help even the balance: Pacific Standard, a production company, and Hello Sunshine, a multimedia company.
"I started a production company five years ago to create more roles for women onscreen and behind the scenes," Witherspoon says. "Today I have something like 23 projects in the works driven by great female characters of different ages and races. There is a film about an astronaut, a film about the entrepreneur who invented Barbie, and a film about the young, brave American girls who were the first women to serve alongside Special Ops in 2010 in Afghanistan."
Pacific Standard has seen success adapting the books "Gone Girl" and "Wild" into hit movies, which together brought in $422 million, according to Forbes. Hello Sunshine launched in 2016, and is focused on women consuming digital content.
"We're thinking about reaching women where they live, on their laptops or on their mobile phones," she explains to Forbes.
But, neither venture came without hard work.
"I self-funded my production company for years," Witherspoon says in Glamour. "Nobody hands me anything. I'll wake up earlier; I'll stay up later. I will put my money where my mouth is. I have to read faster, and I respond quicker than other producers. I have to call and call and call executives until they say yes to my projects."
Outside of media, Witherspoon is also the founder of a clothing and lifestyle brand, Draper James, which received a $10 million investment round in 2015 led by Forerunner Ventures, founded by a woman, Kirsten Green, and known for its investments in retail players like Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox, Glossier and Warby Parker.
In any industry, Witherspoon emphasizes drive and ambition for women.
"All we can do to create change is work hard," Witherspoon says in Glamour. "That's my advice: Just do what you do well. If you're a producer, you've got to produce. If you're a writer, you've got to write. If you're in corporate America, keep working hard to bust through the glass ceiling."
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