Jemma works part-time for Creative Lives, typically Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

From 2013 - 2023, Jemma was Scotland Director of Creative Lives. She previously worked in a range of roles connecting the global and the local, including at The Scottish Human Rights Commission and as a freelance journalist.

During a sabbatical in 2017- 2018, Jemma was the inaugural Community Fellow at The Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities, University of Edinburgh, researching her debut book, Constitution Street. Part-memoir, part-social and legal history, the book explores the interconnecting lives of neighbours on one street. It won the Creative Edinburgh City Award 2019.

Jemma is a Trustee at The Dewar Arts Awards and The Bothy Project.