Not many working mothers are required to report their pregnancy to a cardinal; but when Barbara Jatta discovered she was expecting her third child she was working at the Vatican Library, and her boss was a senior prelate. Jatta laughs as she recalls what happened. He was, she says, thrilled to hear the news. “He said, ‘I’d noticed you were unwell, and I was fearing you were very sick.’”
That was in 2001. Jatta had already been working at the library for five years, and she would remain there for a further 15. But then, in 2016, the Rome-born art historian, a specialist in prints and drawings, was offered the deputy directorship of the Vatican Museums. Six months later she got the top job.