Gina Diez Barroso – Shaping Futures 

Gina Diez Barroso – Shaping Futures | Diarq Group | CIO Women Magazine

“I just knew that to succeed I had to work hard and do everything with, passion, and dedication.”

Gina Diez Barroso is a true leader and a trailblazer creating waves in the fields of arts and education. CIO Women Magazine is proud to introduce her as one of The Most Inspiring Women Leaders to Watch out for In 2023. 

Gina’s story is a testament to her unwavering vision for a better future and her relentless drive to make it happen. She possesses a unique set of skills that enable her to break down barriers, view problems from new perspectives, and bring people together to create lasting solutions. 

Her journey in the professional world started at Televisa, the leading Latin American mass media company and the largest producer of Spanish-language content. At Televisa, she honed her skills and learned the ins and outs of the media industry. However, she was not content to rest on her laurels and, after working with her grandfather, she realized that it was time to pursue her own aspirations. In 1990, she founded Diarq Group

Diarq Group was ahead of its time, offering a one-stop solution for design, architecture, and construction services, which was a novel concept in Mexico at the time. The company was also the first in the country to display model homes and apartments, which gave potential customers a unique opportunity to see the company’s work in person. 

As the company continued to grow, it became a well-known and respected entity in the industry. With eight subsidiaries, it employed over 600 individuals at its peak and established itself as a leader in the field. Additionally, Diarq Group forged its own brand identity, setting itself apart from its competitors and leaving a lasting impact on the industry. 

Diarq is a renowned real estate development and design firm in Latin America, having completed a substantial portfolio of over 850 residential and hospitality projects. 

Gina’s personal values and professional goals eventually led her to realize that she wanted to make a larger impact on society. In response, she established the Diarq Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to addressing the issue of domestic violence and helping to prevent and eradicate it. 

Despite the success and growth of her business, Gina Diez Barroso felt that there was still something missing. Although she had achieved a great deal in the corporate world, she felt that her impact was not as meaningful or lasting as she had hoped. 

However, her father and grandfather served as sources of inspiration and motivation for her. They were role models who taught her the importance of entrepreneurship, service, and making a positive impact on the community. With these values in mind, she has built a successful empire and remains dedicated to leaving a lasting legacy in Mexican society. 

“His impressive legacy was an inspiration and a moving force to go forward and do more.”

Gina realized that while architecture and design were important, quality education was the foundation for social progress and individual success. With this in mind, she decided to focus on the field of creative education in Mexico and create her own university. 

CENTRO University has become a leader in its field, with over 3,000 students and a wide range of programs, including 8 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s degrees, and over 150 continuing education courses. Additionally, the university is deeply committed to environmental sustainability and is proud to be the first LEED Platinum-certified campus in the world. 

Gina says, “Establishing a university with a concentration in creative education and business was only part of the equation. I wanted to make sure that students with outstanding qualifications had the opportunity to study at CENTRO University regardless of their economic possibilities. Therefore, I founded the Pro-Education CENTRO Foundation which provides scholarships to 50% of the 3,000 + students at the University.” 

Gina is a part of significant female groups including WPO (Women President Organization). She is of the opinion that women need to realize that no one gives them power. They must develop soft skills, alter their perspective, and acknowledge and appreciate the power they already possess. 

She has been the lone member of, a prestigious nonprofit organization, from Latin America for more than 20 years. Its goal is to support women in business and as executives. As part of their activities, this latest group has traveled to the top colleges throughout the world where they have spoken and mentored female MBA students. 

She established Dalia Empower four years ago, a lifelong learning initiative with a global reach for women at various phases of their careers, from those just starting out in the workforce to those in leadership roles. 

The business has created a special methodology focused on inducing a transforming influence on the mind, getting rid of obstacles, and changing convictions and perspectives that impose unfavorable restrictions. 

Gina adds, “I was very happy and now satisfied to have found my purpose in education and women´s growth. I am convinced that education gives knowledge, knowledge grants power; and power is especially important for women because it provides more freedom – especially financial freedom.” 

Getting to know Gina 

Gina, being a bibliophile, has many preferred books on her bookshelf. If you think something is not working, fix it! however, stands out for her. She thinks it has consistently attempted to make the world a better place for everyone. She also thinks that a lot of people have a whining attitude and do nothing to change themselves or their circumstances. Every problem, every situation that isn’t working, ought to be seen as a chance for improvement and change. 

Gina credits education with playing a crucial role in helping her discover her purpose, unleash her inner entrepreneur and gain a better understanding of the world. However, her true success can be attributed to her resilience, life experiences, and mastery of life skills. These soft skills have had a profound impact on her personal and professional success and have been a major factor in her leadership abilities. 

One piece of advice has had a significant impact on her leadership – Never give up, believe in yourself, ask for help, and listen to others’ advice with an open mind and without preconceptions. This approach has served her well throughout her career and has been a driving force behind her achievements. 

Reflecting on her journey, Gina would advise her younger self to prioritize taking care of others, but also to not forget to take care of herself and be less self-critical. 

The Game Changers 

The establishment of Dalia Empower, Grupo Diarq, CENTRO University, and Diez marks significant milestones in the history of the companies. Dalia Empower was founded on March 31st, 2017, representing a new chapter in the company’s journey. 

Grupo Diarq, on the other hand, was established much earlier, on January 17th, 1990, and has since become one of the leading real estate development and design firms in Latin America. CENTRO University was founded on January 22nd, 2003, and has since grown to become the most important university in Mexico in its field. 

Diez, established on June 9th, 2004, is another key player in the company’s portfolio. Finally, in 2022, Diez Holding was formed, further solidifying the company’s presence in the industry. 

Over time, the vision and mission of these companies have evolved. When Gina founded Diarq, her goal was to address the challenges faced by the real estate industry by creating a one-stop-shop that caters to the needs of the high-end real estate and design market. 

“At this point in my life, my mission became my vision, which is giving a high-quality education to a greater number of people, regardless of their financial capabilities.”

Today the company has a holding that comprises many companies and investments in Mexico, Latin America, and the United States, with a seven-figure revenue and a strong clientele base. 

Roadblocks Along The Way 

Gina’s journey was not without challenges. As a young woman in her mid-twenties, she was embarking on a new project with limited experience and resources, without the support of a larger corporate entity. 

This posed significant administrative, bureaucratic, and corporate challenges that she had to navigate on her own. Additionally, working in a male-dominated industry such as construction made it even more challenging for her to succeed. 

However, despite these obstacles, she remained determined to break through the glass ceiling and make her mark. Interestingly, despite her gender, she was always supported by her male colleagues, who recognized her determination and drive. This allowed her to overcome the challenges she faced and establish herself as a successful entrepreneur in her field. 

In addition to the challenges faced in real estate development, Gina Diez Barroso also encountered difficulties in the field of creative education in Mexico. At the time, there was a lack of formal and high-quality educational institutions that kept up with technological and innovation advancements. 

The curriculum was not geared towards entrepreneurship and business principles, and there was a social stigma against pursuing creative careers in favor of more traditional, high-paying, and stable professions such as law, medicine, and accounting. As a result, many talented Mexicans who had the financial means would leave the country to study abroad, leading to a significant loss of talent. 

However, Gina Diez Barroso was not deterred by these obstacles. With the support of her mentor, Pedro Aspe, a renowned economist and former Secretary of Finance, and Kerstin Scheuch, the current Director of Centro University, who helped with the organization, planning, and creation of the innovative curricula and teaching methodology, she was able to bring her vision for a top-notch educational institution to life. 

Additionally, the prominent Mexican architect Enrique Norten, with his global vision, provided invaluable guidance and helped build the exceptional campus of Centro University. Today, Centro University stands as a testament to her perseverance and unwavering determination. 

Gina Diez Barroso says, “During my visits to universities, I came to the realization that, although female students had solid technical and academic skills, they often lacked key soft skills needed to believe in themselves and master negotiation, leadership, work-life balance, creative thinking, personal branding, among others. I believed – as I do now – that without those key skills, they would not get far ahead and be successful both in their professional and personal lives. I knew that I had to do something about it, although what specifically wasn´t defined yet.” 

Gina’s understanding of the situation improved after the Mexican government asked her to represent Mexico at the W20, the G20’s women’s initiative, and the G20 Empower Alliance, which strives to advance women’s economic representation and leadership in the private sector. 

Through these two projects, she became familiar with the struggles, needs, and aspirations of women around the world, coming to the conclusion that in order to succeed, women—regardless of their culture, background, or country—must constantly learn and possess not only academic and hard skills but—more crucially—strong soft skills. 

Navigating The Uncertainty Of The Pandemic 

“A life without conflicts is a life without opportunities.”

The outbreak of the pandemic presented both difficulties and opportunities for Dalia. In order to respond to the new reality brought by the pandemic, Dalia had to embrace digitalization, enhance its technological abilities, and introduce online programs that were both innovative and effective. 

The process was not without its challenges, as it was expensive and required significant investment. However, this transformation allowed the company to reach out to a wider audience, including women from countries that had not been considered previously. 

As a company in the midst of consolidation, the pandemic and post-pandemic era presented a host of challenges. Finding the right human capital with the right combination of knowledge, hard and soft skills, adaptability, and most importantly, full commitment and reliability, proved to be difficult. 

Additionally, as a global project, Dalia had to navigate and understand cultural differences, and find partners who could help to translate the company’s vision and mission in different countries, which was a complex and demanding process. 

Success Speaks 

Gina’s company has had a steady trajectory of growth over the years, despite some challenges posed by global economic and geopolitical factors. The secret to their long-standing success is their unwavering commitment to their values and their ability to meet their client’s needs by thoroughly understanding the market in which they operate. 

With an eye towards continued growth, the company is working to expand its services in the education sector and to solidify its presence as a global player. By staying true to their values and keeping their client’s needs at the forefront of their efforts, they are poised for continued success in the future. 

A Leap Ahead 

Gina Diez Barroso has big aspirations for her education businesses, Centro University, and Dalia. She wants to make sure that both entities continue to grow and reach new heights in terms of impact and reach. 

With Centro University, she envisions opening new campuses in different countries that would share the same curriculum and teaching methodologies, providing students with a unique and valuable educational experience. 

On the other hand, with Dalia, Gina Diez Barroso is looking to expand the business through strategic partnerships that would allow her to open branches in different countries, thereby increasing her reach and impact. 

Her ultimate goal is to indirectly impact 25 million women and directly impact 100 million women over the next decade, making a significant difference in the lives of women around the world. 

Word of the Wise 

Gina Diez Barroso 


“Be resilient, follow your dreams, and don´t be put off by what other people think. Entrepreneurship is not an easy path but an extremely rewarding one. Make sure not only to focus your attention on being successful, but more importantly, enjoy the journey.”



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