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FAQs: Building Diversity and Inclusion Best Practicesdiversity and inclusion best practices

At Spectra Diversity we understand that delivering a self-assessment is just one step in building diversity and inclusion best practices.

We’ve answered a few questions in that effort, and are always happy to answer any others.

Please contact Spectra Diversity if you have additional questions.

What are the outcomes a company can expect from Spectra Assessment?

After completing the Spectra Assessment, an organization will be able to:

  • Use the Spectra Assessment like a Pulse Survey to get a “reading” and repeat for progress in a year
  • Focus on individual results in subsequent educational/training opportunities
  • Provide direction for organizational efforts – what’s the greatest gap to close?
  • Have a clearer picture of their culture as it relates to inclusion – important as organizations compete for increasingly demographically diverse and socially conscious candidates
  • Help organizations of any size build diversity and inclusion best practices.

What “pain” can be addressed by administering Spectra Assessment?

Organizations should:

  • Be concerned about attracting top talent
  • Want to know more about their organizational culture
  • Want to create a more inclusive culture
  • Notice trends/pains in employer turnover – customer satisfaction data

Individuals should:

  • Be looking for ways to develop the skills needed to address D&I issues in the workplace
  • Provide skill development for enhanced workplace relationships
  • Receive a snapshot of personal responses and create own action plan
  • Discover the power of implicit bias and its impact on the workplace

What does an organization that’s “ready” for Spectra Assessment look like, sound like and act like?

  • Express awareness that their organizational culture may be negatively impacting their business
  • Be concerned about management’s ability to coach and develop all talent within the organization (leadership development, coaching skills, managing the talent life cycle)
  • Be ready to conduct a culture audit or culture engagement survey
  • Have leaders willing to explore the impact of workplace culture and bias on business

What questions can help identify organizations that would benefit from Spectra Assessment?

  • Do you have a growth strategy?
  • What are they doing around recognition? Around engagement?
  • Has there been internal or external pressure to explore this topic?
  • Are they aware of competitive challenges such as attracting talent or customer attraction/retention that would be addressed by a more inclusive culture?
  • What diversity and inclusion best practices are you currently following?

How did Spectra Diversity determine the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity classifications?

Recognizing the fluidity of the conversations associated with sexual orientation and gender identity, our categories are consistent with those suggested by leading LGBTQ community organizations. These categories are designed to best address the wide range of organizations we serve. We also work to ensure LGBTQ voices are heard as often as possible. As with all our categories, if a sample size is five or fewer, we do not report any demographic data to protect anonymity.

How does the Spectra Assessment compare to other similar assessment tools?

At Spectra Diversity, we believe that any self-assessment selected should be appropriate for its intended audience and purpose. As diversity and inclusion trainers and consultants, we believe there are many wonderful tools available. We created the Spectra Assessment to fill a gap and answer a need that was not being met.

We believe the Spectra Assessment is the only statistically validated dual D&I assessment tool that provides data at both an individual and organizational (or team) level. It is particularly useful as an organization-wide or team-based benchmarking tool.

The Spectra Assessment is unique because it’s

  • A validated tool
  • The only tool that has both Organization Report and Individual Report for review and customized use
  • Two customizable open-ended questions that can also provide qualitative measures
  • Quick and easy to implement
  • All electronic
  • Anonymous/confidential
  • Able to be broken down by demographics (if five or more in a group)

What is the difference between the IDI and the Spectra Assessment?

The IDI helps individuals and teams assess and reflect on stages of cultural competence. It measures differences and places an individual on a five-part continuum. Individuals receive an individual report; the team report combines all individual reports (it is NOT an organizational snapshot – only an aggregate of individual responses). The IDI requires individual coaching based on the IDI Individual Profile Report. It is not conducive for group debrief initially, but it’s a great start to D&I to help senior leaders explore themselves.

The Spectra Assessment assesses diversity and inclusion Beliefs and Interpersonal Skills at the individual level and places participants (as individuals) on a five-part continuum. It also assesses diversity and inclusion perceptions related to the organization: Management, Culture and the 3Ps (Policies, Practices Procedures) and places those three categories on their own five-part continuum. Team responses are provided in the organizational report for both the two individual categories and the three organizational categories. It’s a powerful way to assess the culture related to D&I and the individual’s self-assessment of skills. It provides direction for the D&I consultant to make recommendations and the trainer to guide the focus of the training activities based on objectives.

See the comparison between IDI and other assessments here.

What browsers does the Spectra Assessment support?

This list is updated as needed. Currently the Spectra Assessment is suitable for:

Internet Explorer 11 (This is the latest version available of Internet Explorer)

The latest versions of the following browsers:

  • Edge
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari


  • For iPhone using the latest iOS and Safari versions of the iPhone
  • For Android using the latest available version of Android and the default browsers

Tablets: iPad Pro, Air, Mini and Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9″

What if one of my teams has just a few members? Are “anonymous” responses really anonymous?

Anonymity is very important and for this reason we’ve taken several safeguards to protect the identity of those taking the Spectra Assessment.

  • First, our secure login process ensures that only authorized individuals from the organization’s preapproved list take the assessment via an email verification process.
  • Second, we protect participants by not providing any demographic data to the client or company if there are five or fewer in a demographic. For example, if there are only three white females between the ages of 55-64, then the entire age demographic would not be shared. If there was only one person who identified as Asian-American, then the racial category would not be shared. However, if there were 12 or more females of any age, the gender breakdown would be shared.
  • A third way to protect individuals is to on an individual level. The self-assessment is taken online via the Spectra Diversity server, and the Individual Report is sent to the participants preferred email address – which could be a personal email, rather than a company email.

The data shared with the organization is only aggregate data.

What’s the next step in addressing our diversity and inclusion issues?

Spectra Diversity is currently assembling a list of qualified Diversity and Inclusion consultants and experts who can assist you in planning your next steps. We also offer a debriefing phone consultation with one or more of our partners to help you identify potential next steps. Please contact Spectra Diversity for additional information.

How do we communicate to our employees/staff/team members?

We have created communication templates to get you started. Please contact Spectra Diversity to obtain the samples.

How do I become an authorized Spectra Assessment Change Partner and facilitate the training?

An authorization process is included in the Change Partner application and the Spectra Assessment Facilitator Kit. Our Change Partners must have prior facilitation experience.

Is there a Spectra Assessment discount for authorized facilitators?

Yes, there is. Please contact us for current pricing.

How can an assessment be valid when it asks such simple questions?

Although the results may look simple, it is backed up by science. Though the questions and results appear to be quite simple, they are the product of rigorous validation.

Three diversity and inclusion experts reviewed the pertinent literature to identify concepts that should be reflected in the items. Once the concepts were identified, the three experts generated items reflective of the literature review. The initial pool included 120 items. These items were reviewed by seven additional diversity and inclusion experts who narrowed down the list to 48 items to be used in a pilot study.

A second group of diversity and inclusion experts reviewed the items and provided feedback. Finally, during the pilot, feedback on the items was solicited from participants. The feedback was reviewed and items updated or excluded. The types of feedback received included suggestions to clarify items, suggestions to remove redundant items, expressed personal discomfort with some of the items, among others.  Reviewed feedback (from 700 pilot participants).  This list was submitted for a factor analysis, resulting in the final 31 items in the Spectra Assessment.

What do I do when a participant says they took the Spectra Assessment and received a reminder in error?

Spectra Diversity has found that about .01% of people erroneously believe they already completed the assessment. In a large Spectra Assessment (5,000 people) this small number of people could generate a seemingly large flood of emails (50) to the Change Partner or client. This is normal, and here’s how to respond:

  • Check the master email list – it may contain a typo, a last name may have changed or “William” may be “Bill.”
  • If the person is accurately on the master list, check the “Daily Participation” notice. This will tell you whether the person is in the database as a completed entry.
  • If the person has not participated, send them the link to take the Spectra Assessment again. The most likely cause for an incomplete Spectra Assessment is that the individual selected the “submit” button and closed out the Spectra Assessment without seeing the “Thank you” verification.
  • If they say they tried more than once, and you’ve completed the above steps, forward the individual’s email to for further action.

At Spectra Diversity, we strive to make the Spectra Assessment process simple for the participant, and secure and robust for the organization.

How do I respond to questions about "cookies" and "JavaScript"?

Whether you are a Change Partner or an individual participant, you may run into pop-ups about cookies, JavaScript or other incompatibility issues. Although the Spectra Assessment is set up to run with all the latest browsers and computer platforms, some people will still have an issue. Here are some steps you can take:

  • If you have an internal IT department, forward a screenshot to them and see if they can help you.
  • Switch to a different computer. If you’re on a desktop, try a laptop or vice versa. This often corrects the connectivity issue.
  • Try taking the Spectra Assessment on a smartphone. It may look a bit different, but the functionality is all there because smartphone operating systems are updated regularly.
  • If the participant receives a message saying “not a valid participant” it usually means that there was a typo or some other change to the email list that was provided to Spectra Diversity. Please send the corrected email address to
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