The glitzy ceremony paid tribute to the female stars for their impact on the film industry, and others who received a nod included Jodie Foster, Diane Keaton, Sofia Coppola and Kerry Washington.
Paltrow was presented with her prize by her Proof co-star Jake Gyllenhaal, who took the stage and told the crowd about working with the multi-talented actress.
He said, "Bottom line, she is not a mere mortal like the rest of us... She is an internet-savvy, award-winning, lifestyle guru, making all of us look lazy. She doesn't just find a nice guy to settle down with - she marries a rock star and then domesticates him. She doesn't just cook - she goes to Spain with Mario Batali and then domesticates him! She is not just a lifestyle guru, but she invents a whole new fitness movement and then convinces me to try it, and I do it, and I am, therefore, domesticated... sweating my a** off in spandex, which is humbling and embarrassing."
One of the male guests at the event, Harrison Ford, admitted he was overwhelmed by the star-studded ceremony, because it serves as proof that women have secured their place as major players in Hollywood.
He tells the Associated Press, "(This event) came to be back in the days when they said, 'There were no good parts for women' and 'Women aren't highly regarded.' (Now) women run Hollywood. Absolutely run Hollywood. And I'm glad."
Foster, who is set to make her directorial debut with new Mel Gibson movie The Beaver, hopes to see more female directors gaining prominence in the movie industry.
She says, "It's women directors that are the last hurdle, and we haven't jumped over that. Now we have women studio executives, we have women producers. And, for some reason, that hasn't really translated into much gains for women (directors)."