Debra Winger quit Hollywood when a much in demand actress; the extracts from an article on this give you some insight into the issues facing women in Hollywood (see the blog posts on fem. dirs + editors too)
Debra Winger was one of the highest-paid actresses in the world during the 1980s thanks to performances in films such as Terms of Endearment and An Officer and a Gentleman. She also had three Oscar nominations for best actress under her belt. Then, at the age of 40, she retired, causing shockwaves through the film industry...."I look at women in Hollywood, my age or a little older, and some of them are creating the problem themselves," she says. "They do not accept their age, physically. They start doing things to their face and body which are designed to make them look less than their real age. They feel pressure to constantly play women who are younger. I don't think it is worth trying to look 10 years younger through surgery. It is too high a price to pay."..."I had this reputation for being 'difficult'. But would a man have suffered the same accusation? He would probably have been admired for speaking his mind and be called a 'perfectionist'. There have been several men who have been able to appreciate the difference. Richard Attenborough, who directed me in Shadowlands, springs to mind. He is not a sexist and treated myself and Tony Hopkins as equals...."An actress in a film starts every day with an hour and a half in front of a mirror, with hair and make-up and costumes. That is unnatural - too much unnatural attention. I was never too confident about my beauty, to tell the truth, and that puts you on edge. As a result, I would not do many interviews and would always seem to regret them when I read the result. It made me very cautious."
If you come across any articles on how actresses are treated, please add details (including a link) as a comment below!