“From the standpoint of being a woman, I just thought he was phenomenal,” said Sunshine, 74. “So supportive and encouraging. . . . He gave me the ropes, and I could either hang myself or prove myself.”

Jennifer Crisafulli-Oberting, 43, a contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” who went on to promote the show in media appearances with Trump, said she felt she was being welcomed into the “boys club” — but on her terms.

“You were like one of the guys right off the bat, but you didn’t have to act or dress like one of the guys,” she said.

Trump often told the women he employed and worked with that he valued those he believed would stand their ground on construction sites and in legal battles. He called Barbara Res, whom he put in charge of the construction of his now iconic Trump Tower in 1980, “a killer,” she recalled. And he used to tell her and others that “men are better than women, but a good woman is better than 10 good men.”