Emily , I wholeheartedly agree that women need to ask for the money we think we're worth, even if it makes for an uncomfortable moment. That alternative-the "feminine ask" is a "no" waiting to happen. Whoever gave a raise or a better offer to someone who danced around the subject?
I'd add one thing. It's a piece of advice my dad once gave me, and it's worked well in all kinds of negotiations, from making an offer on a car to asking for a higher starting salary to working out a plea deal when I was a prosecutor: Don't be afraid of the silence.
Most people, women in particular, have a tendency to negotiate against ourselves. We put a figure out there and then back off of it when we don't get an immediate yes, rushing in with a lower suggestion or even an apology for asking. It's an urge I still find myself fighting against, and it's the best piece of negotiating advice I've ever been given. The first requirement of negotiation is simple: Ask for what you want. The second requirement only sounds simple: Wait-as long as you need to-for an answer.