Choose to challenge

This year’s International Women’s Day invites the world to challenge itself – because challenge can bring about positive changes.

Here at Porto Montenegro, we actively support women’s advancement, proudly help forge gender equality and value diversity and inclusion within our community.

We don’t have far to look for role models with so many extraordinary and successful women working here and living a life less ordinary. To mark International Women’s Day, we speak to three of them and ask them what they #choosetochallenge.


Laura Protat is a helicopter pilot and entrepreneur. The Italian made Montenegro her home in 2014 and became the CEO of Airways Aviation Montenegro.


She says: “I love my work and am so grateful to have had the chance to travel and experience the world. Training and starting my own company was challenging at times but I’ve always liked a challenge. I’ve never seen the world as divided by what a man and what a woman can or can’t do. I find that to be quite a retrograde view for society to define us.

We are the same as men – we have two arms, two legs and a brain, perhaps even a better brain!

I especially enjoy seeing the surprise on people’s faces when they see a woman in the pilot’s seat. I think we still have a long way to go for total acceptance of female pilots and the elimination of prejudices.

I come from a modest background and worked throughout my training which took four years. It was a long and gruelling process and there was some gender bias. Sometimes I failed, but I never gave up.

I’m very proud to have started my own helicopter operation, initially in Croatia and I then took over a company in Montenegro and made a success of it.

I’ve fought very hard to be where I am. I’m still fighting. I believe that in life you never stop learning, loving, dreaming and fighting.

My #choosetochallenge is for women to team with other women to fight against inequality and in my profession as a pilot I would hope that by 2030 at least 25 percent of pilots worldwide will be women, – that will be a good start, since now we are just 3%.”



Ajka Matijevic has been is a superyacht agent since 2010. Three years ago, the mum-of-two founded A+ Yachting. 

Being a superyacht agent is a huge honor and enormous responsibility. How we communicate with captains and crew, treat logistical obstacles that they face, and present ourselves can directly affect their opinion about our country.

What really got me hooked to this job was the variety of challenges that I can face daily – as I love finding solutions. It can make me feel like I have a super-power, it’s quite addictive!

Working my way up to this job was extremely challenging as this industry was very male dominated. The older generation of captains only wanted to connect with a man of their age and getting clients was one of my biggest problems at the beginning. I also remember at the start that even my colleagues underestimated my knowledge, education, and willpower. When I think of that now, I can only thank them – I’m extremely competitive, and I made a personal mission to prove to them that I can do everything they do – and even better.

At home I make sure I tell my two daughters that they can be whatever they want to be if they set their mind to it – and to know that their starting point and background does not determine their final destination.

My #choosetochallenge would be to encourage women to find purpose in what you they are doing and to commit to that purpose. I would say don’t be distracted by prejudices. Work on yourself, challenge yourself and just be 100 % committed.



Sanja Bozovic is the founder of Montenegro Charter Limited which specialises in yacht charter, yacht sales and private jet charter.

She says: I founded my company in 2017 although I have worked in the nautical sector for more than 13 years – in yacht charter sales and management as well as fleet operations. Last year I expanded this to include private jet services.

“I’ve always loved facing new challenges and learning new skills and I’m lucky that my work involves travelling and meeting interesting people. The nautical sector is so full of variety, there is always something new to learn which helps my career evolve.

“I’ve still not reached all my goals, but I am getting there. I believe that in business you can’t always control the route your career takes but you can choose to work, to persist, to execute and to never give up really.

“I like to think that being a woman in this business is a superpower. 

“I’m grateful to have achieved all that I have – and I know that I will do even more in future. I have had to be brave, but I have also always believed in myself. It’s important to feel fulfilled – that leads to happiness.

“I am able to talk business and figures as well as anyone but I’m prouder of how I’ve evolved and the people I surround myself with – this gives me the ultimate satisfaction.”

My #choosetochallenge is for women to support each other and to be willing to try new things in business – to focus on where they want to go, not what they fear.”