The Channel 4 soap's producer hopes that she can transform viewers' perceptions of female characters.
Recalling her thoughts when she took on her role last year, Smithwick told the Radio Times: "There weren't enough strong, smart and intelligent women for my liking," she says. "At a stretch, I might have considered having a drink with Texas.
"I'm passionate about the portrayal of women in the media in general and specifically on television that's aimed at a younger audience. I'm determined to be part of the solution and not part of the problem."
She continued: "I want to redefine what sexy and glamorous is in Hollyoaks. I don't want girls just to watch and think, 'I want that outfit' or 'I like her hair'. I'd like them to see it as an emotional encyclopedia that's relevant to the changes and issues in their lives.
"I want to look at the sophisticated social hierarchies of teenage girls, at their insecurities, at the challenges of growing up in contemporary Britain. The responsibility is enormous but the pay-off is huge."
Smithwick added: "Of all the shows, we can and should be braver and have more conviction. If I haven't achieved that evolution in my time as producer, I won't have done my job right."
> Read Digital Spy's interview with Emma Smithwick here
> Hollyoaks Silas plot triumphs in Digital Spy 2011 readers' poll