"I feel like I was hit by a truck, frankly. ... I am scared, as a woman. I have daughters. I have granddaughters. I'm scared. But I know that we need to understand why this happened, and what it means, and how do we move forward together," she said.
Speaking at the Atlanta Women's Foundation's annual luncheon Thursday, the actress and activist said she was happy to be back in a state that taught her an important lesson.
"I am very grateful for the time that I lived in Georgia. I learned so much," Fonda said. "And one of the most important things that l learned was the importance of listening to people who you don't agree with, with an open heart."
And that's what needs to happen now, she said.
"I know that we all didn't vote for the same people," Fonda told the crowd. "And we have to, as women, we have to have each others' backs, no matter who we voted for. We have to listen carefully."
'This is going to be very tough'
Fonda shared the stage with WNBA President Lisa Borders and famed feminist Gloria Steinem, who also weighed in on the election results.
"Hillary Clinton won the majority of votes, but because of the Electoral College, we will have (Donald) Trump as the president. This is going to be very tough, because so far, he has opposed every single majority issue that both women and men care about in many cases, but especially women care about," Steinem told CNN. "So we don't know what's going to happen, but we do know that the women's movement is big and huge. We have each other, and we're going to go forward."
The election wasn't the focal point of the "Numbers Too Big To Ignore" fundraising luncheon
, which aimed to drum up support for programs for women and girls.
But the topic came up at many tables in the packed ballroom, where some guests said they'd been hoping the event would be a chance to celebrate the election of the first female president of the United States.
"We were coming to a wedding and it turned into a funeral," said Griffin Fry, 58, of Atlanta.
"Our hugs are longer today and our puffy eyes, I think, tell it all," she said. "I've never awakened after an election before despairing and fearful for my daughters."
'It's not about gender'
But not everyone was in mourning.
Lisa McKay, 45, said she supported Trump at the polls and looks forward to seeing what his government will do.
"I think he's going to build a strong team around him. For me, it's not about gender. It's about the principles and the issues," she said. "It's a beautiful day and the sun is out and I'm excited for the possibility of change."
Across the room, psychologist Ronee Griffith, 62, hoisted her granddaughter onto the stage so she could get Steinem's autograph.
Griffith said she brought 6-year-old Naomi along to the luncheon after seeing how upset her granddaughter was about the election results.
"She was very sad that Hillary lost," Griffith said. "She made up a cheer for her, a dance, with two American flags: 'Hillary's the best!' We are trying to help her understand that even though you're the best, you have to keep trying."