Words by Gabriella Chidgey, self-employed businesswoman

“I FIRST started developing Romantic Ronda, five luxury holiday apartments and country houses, around 15 years ago. There have been frustrations.

“The bureaucracy has been a pain, but finding the right people to work with has been a steep learning curve. Would I have faced some of them as a man? I’m not sure. It is still a macho environment.

“I experienced a number of architects, lawyers, and builders until finally, I have found people I can trust to get the job done and who work well with women. These were not men that cemented a deal with a drink. They were immediately direct and professional, respected my viewpoint and what I wanted.

“Several years ago the constructor I worked with ignored me, threw my carefully drawn plans onto the floor of his car, and gave me design ultimatums that suited him. He was the most successful builder in the region. I knew four women running renovation projects with him, and none chose to use him again. He did not survive the recession. 

“I don’t want special treatment as a woman, just to have my business acumen acknowledged and my viewpoint respected. It’s got so much better –  at least contractors will deal with me now rather than asking when my husband will be there!”

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